The Eiffel Tower, opened to the public on March 31, 1889, is one of the most famous buildings in the world. We found some interesting information about this interesting city and its famous Eiffel Tower with its romantic atmosphere and deep history. Let’s look at them together.
1. The tower was built as an entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1889, the World Exhibition (Exposition Universelle) was held in Paris. Artists from all over the country sent in plans for an arch to be built at the entrance to the exposition on the Champ de Mars, a public park in central Paris.
2. The tower was designed and built by Eiffel et Compagnie.
The work of creating the arch was entrusted to the consulting and construction firm of Gustave Eiffel, a civil engineer specializing in metal structures. In the early 1880s, Eiffel also worked on the Garabit Viaduct, a bridge in the French Central region, which was then the highest bridge in the world. His other projects include the railway station in Pest, Hungary; the dome of the Nice Observatory in France; and the inner pier of the Statue of Liberty.
3. Gustave Eiffel rejected the original idea
The chief designer of the tower was senior engineer Maurice Kohlin, one of Eiffel’s employees. Consultations were also held with the engineer Emile Nouguier and the head of the architectural department of the company Stephen Sauvestre. After reviewing Koechlin’s early sketches, the architect found the design to be too minimalist. He commissioned Koechlin to add more detail to his design. Eiffel approved the final design in 1884.
4. The project used too much metal
Three hundred steelworkers worked two years, two months and five days from 1887 to 1889 to build the tower. They used over 18,000 individual pieces of metal, 2.5 million rivets and 40 tons of paint.
5. Its original height was 300 meters.
When completed in March 1889, the height of the tower was 300 meters. Surprisingly, this measurement is not entirely accurate: cold weather can shorten the tower by as much as 15 cm.
6. Until 1930, it was the tallest building in the world.
The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York was built, which reached a height of 318 meters. Just a year later, the Empire State Building became the tallest building in the world. Currently, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, at 828 meters and 160 floors.
7. A committee of 300 people protested against the tower.
Led by writers Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas Jr., and hundreds of other artists, a petition against the project was signed and sent to the government of Paris. Their protests went unheeded, although they called the Eiffel Tower “useless and monstrous.”
8. The tower instantly became popular with the public
Despite the petition, the 1889 World’s Fair was a huge success, thanks in large part to the imposing appearance of the tower. During the fair, the Eiffel Tower was visited by about 2 million people. $1.4 million was earned from tickets, making the 1889 fair one of the few fairs to actually turn a profit.
9. It was supposed to last only 20 years.
The Eiffel Tower was never intended to stand permanently above the Champ de Mars, and was planned to be dismantled in 1909. But the antenna attached to the top changed everything. This antenna helped interrupt German wireless telegraph transmission during World War I at the Battle of the Marne in 1914.
10. The Eiffel Tower can withstand strong winds.
Renowned aerodynamicist architect Eiffel and his team designed the tower to withstand even the strongest winds and never sway more than 11 cm.
11. The tower has three floors
The 7 million people who visit the Eiffel Tower every year visit three different parts of the tower at three different heights. The first level, 50 meters high, includes an observation deck, souvenir shops, historical and art exhibitions, an open-air pavilion and a transparent floor. On the second floor, 54 meters high, there is another observation deck, shops and a Michelin-starred Jules Verne restaurant. On the top floor there is a champagne bar, which offers a magnificent view of the height of 275 meters.
12. A man was arrested for riding his bike down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower.
Over the years, the tower has witnessed a variety of behaviors and interesting people. One of them is Pierre Labric, a cyclist, journalist, paratrooper and World War I veteran, when he attempted to bike down the stairs in 1923.
13. The tower is painted every seven years.
About 60 tons of paint are needed to repair the monument, which is owned by the municipality of Paris and managed by a public institution called the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE). SETE employs guides, security guards, postal workers and over 500 people in the tower’s restaurants, shops and boutiques.
14. The tower was closed during the Nazi occupation.
The monument was closed to the public during the occupation from 1940 to 1944. French rebels cut the Eiffel Tower’s elevator cables, so Nazi officers and soldiers had to climb stairs to get to the top. Hitler actually ordered the governor of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Fortunately, his order was not carried out.
15. This iconic building has been featured in many films.
James Bond (Roger Moore) chases an assassin inside the tower in A View to a Kill (1985). Burgess Meredith starred as a knife sharpener in the 1949 detective film The Man on the Eiffel Tower. A scene from the British comedy Lavender Hill Crowd (1951), starring Alec Guinness and Audrey Hepburn, was filmed at the Eiffel Tower.
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