Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person is almost everyone’s travel goals. I am grateful to my Maker because last February, I together with my housemates-turned friends Princess (of Travel with Chamz) and Mikhaela, were able to explore Paris on our five-day holiday trip. Of course, we wouldn’t miss the Eiffel Tower! Standing proud at 320 meters or 1050 feet in height, it is visible anywhere anyway. I wish we visited it during the Spring or Summer season but ah, sure look, Eiffel is still majestic even at winter season, especially at night!
To tell you honestly, I didn’t know that there is a restaurant in the Eiffel tower! Neither did I know before that anyone can go up and reach the top of the building! Aside from these nice to knows, here are other Eiffel Tower facts you might not have heard before.
1. The Eiffel Tower was not meant to be a permanent feature
Originally, the majestic monument was made for a temporary exhibit and was supposed to last only for 20 years. When it was constructed in January 1887, the primary purpose of the iconic spire is to provide an entrance for the Exposition Universelle. Parisian artists objected because they hated the design of the tower and considered it as an eyesore. Around 300 sculptors, painters, architects, and writers who call it a useless monstrous tower, had an actual protest. To give in to the demand of the people, it was planned to be broken down after two decades.
What prevented Eiffel from being demolished in 1909? Because the height of the spire is perfect for erecting antennas, telecommunication companies had fixed transmission wires to the top of the Eiffel tower. The city had benefited from this transmitter station and is now an iconic monument.
2. Eiffel tower is now “taken”
A former soldier and archer named Erika Eiffel married the famous tower in 2007. She even paid $500 to change her name legally in her passport. According to Erika, she fell in love with the tower when she visited it in 2004. She also claimed that the tower proposed to her and the special wedding ceremony conducted was not her idea. A documentary entitled Married to the Eiffel Tower narrates the story of Erika and other women with Objectum Sexuality.
3. It was not Gustave Eiffel who designed the tower
To mark the centennial anniversary of the French Revolution, Paris hosted a World’s Fair and an open competition was staged. Over a hundred of artists submitted their draft of a monument to be built in the centre of Paris to serve as an entrance of the Exposition Universelle. Of the 107 proposals, the commission was granted to the construction firm owned by Architect Gustave Eiffel, who bears the name of the spire. Although Eiffel often obtains full credit, it was actually his employees, Senior Engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier who designed the monument.
4. The Eiffel Tower is taller during the Summer Season
On average, the Eiffel tower is 324 meters in height up to the tip. However, did you know that it is taller in summer than during the winter season? The monument grows up to 17 cm. This is due to thermal expansion. This physical phenomenon causes solid material to expand in proportion to environmental temperature. Eiffel tower’s metals grow during the hot weather. The same thing happens to bridges.
5. There is an ice skating rink inside the Eiffel Tower
During the winter season, Eiffel tower welcomes those who wanted to experience ice skating 57m above the ground. It started in 2004 when the tower commenced on accommodating the seasonal ice arena. The ice rink is located in the first floor and is open to visitors from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm. Take note though that personal skates are not permitted and gloves must be worn.
6. Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited paid monument worldwide
On average, the Eiffel tower welcomes almost 7 million people a year. Since its opening, around 250 million tourists had visited the famous spire. No wonder the queue was very long when we climb the summit and others tried to cut in line! Even famous celebrities and personalities have come to visit the iconic monument including members of the royal families all over the globe. Also included in the list of most famous landmarks is Notre Dame which is likewise located in Paris, France.
7. The lift cables of Eiffel Tower were cut during the Nazi Occupation
During the German occupation of France in World War II, the Eiffel Tower was close to the public. Upon the arrival of the Nazi in the city, the elevator cables were cut by the French. It was only in 1946 when the lifts were repaired. In 1940, the German Soldiers had to scramble up the top of the tower to attach a swastika flag however, the banner was too large that it was puffed by the wind just a few hours after.
8. Technically, it is illegal to photograph the Eiffel at night
The Eiffel Tower never fails to impress however, be mindful because sharing your own photo of the famous spire at night time is considered illegal. Posting, selling or publishing a photo or a video of the night-lit monument without permission could cause problems. According to the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel which manages the Eiffel tower, the light display is considered an artistic work and under the European law, it is copyrighted. Therefore, if you want to share or publish a photo of the Eiffel tower at night for commercial purposes, ask for permission and pay the necessary fees.
Were you surprised to read these eight fun facts about Eiffel Tower? I hope you learned something from this article. Drop your comments below.
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