The history of France’s Eiffel Tower holds abundance of interesting facts and twists along the past nearly 100 years when it was established. Starting from holding the name of a person who didn’t design it to beating several plans to demolish it.
France’s Eiffel Tower lies in the Champ de Mars in the French capital Paris.It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower, but note that two of the company’s engineers are the unsung heroes behind the monument. The Tower’s idea came up among propositions from over 100 artists to build a monument to be presented during World’s Fair hosted in Paris in 1889 to mark the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution.
Knowing that 20,000 light bulbs are used to make the tower sparkle every night can give you a hint of how tremendous and titanic the tower is. The tower is 324 meters tall the same height as 81-storey building and held the title of world’s tallest building for 41 years. 1665 steps lead the way to the top of Paris’s tallest building. The Tower weighs 10,100 tons and its base is square measuring 125 meters on each side.
During its construction it surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. But it later surpassed it because of the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of it in 1957 making it now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 meters. The Eiffel Tower is still the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
The names of 72 engineers, scientists and mathematicians who contributed to the construction are engraved on the side of the tower. 300 workers, 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets were needed to build the Eiffel Tower.
The Tower also holds the title of the most visited paid-for monument around the world. It received almost 300 million people since its opening. And today it is visited by around 7 million people a year.
The world famous monument didn’t have many fans in the beginning. As soon as Eiffel’s plans went public, a group of 300 Paris luminaries signed a petition protesting its construction, calling it “useless”. Two years after it was completed a writer named Guy de Maupassant used to eat lunch every day at the cafe directly below the tower saying that it is the only spot in Paris where he could not see the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel Tower was designed for the World’s Fair and was only meant to be a temporary structure with a 20-year lifespan. But during the Battle of Marnes in 1914, the Tower’s wireless telegraph transmitter was used to jam German communications which helped turn the tide for the Allies. Throughout the next five years, the Eiffel Tower became a hub for listening in on enemy transmissions so you can say that WW1 saved the Tower. Also during WW2 Hitler ordered the demolition of the tower but the command was never carried out.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower:
The tower has three levels for visitors that include restaurants on the first and second levels while the top level’s upper platform is 276 meters high above the ground level making it the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union.
A ticket granting access to the second floor via the lift costs 16€ for adults, 8€ for people aged 12-24, 4€ for concessions and kids under 4 are for free.
A ticket granting access to the top via two lifts costs costs 25€ for adults, 12.5€ for people aged 12-24, 6.30€ for concessions and kids under 4 are for free.
A ticket granting access to the second floor via the stairs costs 10€ for adults, 5€ for people aged12-24, 2.5€ for concessions and kids under 4 are for free. It is on sale at the Tower only.
A ticket granting access to the top of the Tower via the stairs up to the second floor, and then in a lift costs 19€ for adults, 9.5€ for people aged 12-24, 4.80€ for concessions and kids under 4 are for free. It is on sale at the Tower only.