The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the most famous buildings in the world. The tower, conceived as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair, has become a popular tourist attraction, attracting around seven million people annually. Here are some interesting facts about this world-famous landmark.
1. The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be a temporary building.
The Eiffel Tower was built as a temporary exhibition for the 1889 World's Fair in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. In an attempt to prolong the life of the tower, Gustave Eiffel installed a radio antenna and a wireless telegraph transmitter on it. The French government decided that the tower was too valuable and useful to be dismantled. Even today, the Eiffel Tower is used to broadcast radio and TV programs around the world.
2. The Eiffel Tower changes its size regularly.
The metal of the tower contracts in winter and expands in summer, allowing the tower to change its size throughout the year. The height of the Eiffel Tower can vary up to 15 cm. This is because the wrought iron the tower is made of is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Thus, when the temperature rises, the Tower increases in size due to thermal expansion, and in winter the structure contracts.
3. the eiffel tower can move
The tower was designed to withstand gusts of wind. However, it sways during a storm, and if weather conditions get worse, you can see how it moves. This is not the only weather phenomenon that causes the tower to move. In addition to expanding, the sun also causes the tower to tilt outward. Because the sun only falls on one of the four sides, the Eiffel Tower tends to lean. On a clear day, the top of the tower can move in a circle with a diameter of 15 centimeters.
4. There is a secret apartment at the top of the tower.
At the top of the tower, the architect Gustave Eiffel built a private apartment where he could conduct experiments and receive high-ranking guests. One of his most famous guests was Thomas Edison. The office has one of the best views from the tower, but has been closed to the public for many years. However, you can see realistic wax figures of Eiffel, his daughter Claire and Thomas Edison talking in the room.
Gustave Eiffel was not the designer of the Eiffel Tower.
Although the Eiffel Tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, he did not design it. In fact, the tower was designed by two senior engineers working for his company, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier. The two engineers teamed up with French architect Stephen Sauvestre to make the structure more aesthetically pleasing. However, Eiffel invested most of the funds needed to build the tower and then acquired the patent rights.
6. The Eiffel Tower served during the First World War.
At the beginning of the 20th century, many innovations took place on the Eiffel Tower. In 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, the advance of German troops on Paris was prevented by a radio transmitter located in the tower, which jammed German radio communications. It is believed to have been instrumental in the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne. Through the radio station on the tower, French troops intercepted enemy signals coming from Berlin.
7. Hitler ordered the destruction of the Eiffel Tower.
In 1944, when the Allies were ready to liberate Paris, Hitler ordered the destruction of the entire city along with the Tower as a last resort. Hitler sent a message to Field Marshal Walter Model and von Choltitz demanding that Paris be held at all costs, and if that was not possible, turn the city into a field of ruins. The destruction of Paris would be the destruction of France, he thought. Fortunately, Choltitz was shocked by this order and never carried it out.
8. eiffel tower married
No, don't be surprised! Erica Aya (or Erica Eiffel), an American archery athlete, "married" Tower in 2007. She first met The Tower in 2004 and claims to have felt attracted immediately. Medical experts have classified this attraction as a form of paraphilia, a disorder in which people become strongly attached to inanimate objects. She also maintains a support website for Object Sexuality International, an organization for those who develop meaningful relationships with inanimate objects.
9. The Iron Lady is lit by 20,000 light bulbs.
The 336 sodium spotlights mounted on the beams of the tower are what gives the tower its beautiful golden light. The twinkling of the Eiffel Tower, which makes it stand out against the backdrop of the Parisian landscape, is the result of the rapid flashing of 20,000 successive 6W LED bulbs, an effect inspired by camera flashes.
10. Taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night is illegal.
Under European copyright law, monuments such as the Eiffel Tower are protected for the lifetime of the work's rightful creator plus 70 years. If the Eiffel Tower became public property in 1993, the lamps installed by Pierre Bidault were not lit until 1985. According to the company that manages the Eiffel Tower (SETE), these lights are copyrighted and therefore people wishing to publish a photograph must request permission, pay a fee, and properly credit the artist. So you face a fine if you take pictures of them and share them on any social media account.
11. It is painted in a variety of colors.
Constructed from wrought iron, it has been coated with several coats of paint to protect it from oxidation. To ensure its longevity, the tower is repainted every seven years. Even today, painting is done by hand after paint removal, cleaning and rust treatment for the full 300 meters. Over the years, the tower has acquired different shades, from Venetian red to yellow-orange hues. In 1968, the tower took on the shade known today as the "brown Eiffel Tower". The color of the tower consists of three shades of brown, the darkest at the top and the lightest at the bottom. This shade is designed to hide fog from the air and give the structure a uniform look from top to bottom.
12. The tower once housed a post office.
Since its inception, the Eiffel Tower has housed several sites, including Gustave Eiffel's apartment, the editorial office of Figaro magazine, a radio station, and even a theater! One of the most interesting objects was the post office located on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Located 187 meters above the ground, it was considered the smallest post office in Paris and allowed mail to be sent with collectible stamps and the famous Eiffel Tower seal. Mailboxes have been installed on each floor so that visitors can send postcards with stamps confirming their passage to each level of the Tower.