12 Interesting Facts About The Iron Lady of Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is one of the most well-known structures in the world. Designed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair, the Tower has come to be a popular tourist attraction that attracts approximately seven million visitors each year. Here are some interesting facts about this world-famous attraction.
Interesting Facts about Eiffel Tower
1. The Tower Wasn’t Made to Stand Forever
The Eiffel Tower was built as a temporary display for the 1889 World Fair in Paris, which commemorated the French Revolution's 100th anniversary. In an attempt to extend the Tower’s life, Gustave Eiffel erected a radio antenna and wireless telegraph transmitter in the Tower. The French government decided that the tower was too useful to be dismantled. The Eiffel Tower is still used to broadcast radio and television programs around the world today.
2. The Eiffel Tower Changes In Size
The tower's metal contracts in the winter and expands in the summer allowing the tower to change in size throughout the year.The Eiffel Tower's height can change by up to 15 cm. This happens because puddled iron, which the Tower is made out of, is sensitive to the variations in temperature. So, when temperatures rise, the Tower increases in size, thanks to thermal expansion and during winter the structure contracts.
3. The Tower Can Move
The tower was crafted to resist gusty winds. However, it does sway during a storm and if the weather conditions worsen you can see it move. It’s not the only weather phenomenon that makes the tower move. Apart from making it expand, the sun also causes the tower to tilt away from it. Since the sun hits only one out of the four slides, the Eiffel Tower tends to lean. On a clear day, the top of the tower can move in a circle 15 centimeters in diameter.
7. Hitler Ordered the Destruction of the Tower
In 1944, when the Allies were ready to liberate Paris, in a last ditch effort, Hitler ordered the destruction of the entire city, along with the Tower. Hitler sent a message to Field Marshal Walther Model and von Choltitz demanding that Paris be held at all costs, and that if it could not be held it should be turned into a field of ruins. The destruction of Paris would be the destruction of France, he believed. Thankfully, Choltitz was shocked by the order and never carried it out.
8. The Tower is Actually Married!
No, don’t be surprised! Erika Aya (or Erika Eiffel), an American competitive archer, “married” the Tower in 2007. She encountered the tower for the first time in 2004 and claims that she felt an instant attraction. Medical experts have classified this attraction as a form of paraphilia, a disorder in which people establish strong attachments to inanimate items. She also runs the support website Object Sexuality Internationale, an organization for those who develop significant relationships with inanimate objects.
11. It's Painted in a Variety of Colours
Constructed using puddle iron, the has been given several coats of paint to protect it from oxidation. In order to ensure its long life, the tower is repainted every seven years. Even today, the painting is done by hand, after stripping, cleaning, and rust-proofing the whole 300 meters. Over the years, the Tower has taken on various shades, from Venetian red to shades of yellow-orange. In 1968, the tower took on the shade that has come to be known as Eiffel Tower Brown. The color of the tower is made of three brown shades, the darkest at the top and the lightest at the bottom. The shade is meant to hide air haze and give the structure a uniform appearance from top to bottom.
12. The Tower Once Housed a Post Office
The Eiffel Tower has had several installations since its inception, including Gustav Eiffel's penthouse apartment, the Le Figaro newsroom, a radio station, and even a theatre! One of the most interesting installations has been the post office on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Located 187 meters above the ground, it was considered the smallest Parisian post office, and it allowed people to post mail with collector’s stamps and the famous illustrated Eiffel Tower postmark. Mailboxes were available on each floor so that visitors could send postcards, stamped with postmarks that could attest to their passage through each level of the Tower.
Combo: Eiffel Tower Summit Guided Tour + Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket
Frequently Asked Questions About Eiffel Tower
A. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is a wrought-iron lattice tower that has become a world-famous attraction.
A. The Eiffel Tower was originally built as a temporary structure for the 1889 World's Fair.
A. The Eiffel Tower was designed by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, who were senior engineers at Gustave Eiffel's company.
A. The Eiffel was built in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 130 years old.
A. The Eiffel Tower weighs about 10,100 tons.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 1083 feet (330 meters) tall.
A. The Eiffel Tower is divided into three levels: the first, second, and summit. On the first floor, there are museum exhibits, a glass floor, changing exhibitions, souvenir shops, and restaurants. More restaurants and shops, as well as the Jules Verne restaurant and an observation area, can be found on the second floor. The summit, on the other hand, is home to an observation deck, the Champagne Bar, and a replica of Gustav Eiffel's office.
A. Yes, it is true that it is illegal to photograph the Eiffel Tower at night. It is because the government of France considers that the Eiffel Tower light show is an art work and thus copyrighted, so you may face a fine if you photograph it and share it on Facebook or any other social media account.
A. Yes, Eiffel Tower has an apartment at the top of the tower. It was set up by architect Gustave Eiffel so he could conduct experiments and entertain distinguished visitors.
A. The most-visited paid monument in the world, the Eiffel Tower sees almost 7 million visitors a year.