10 Eiffel Tower Facts Parisians Don't Know

  • 20, Aug 2017
  • All things Paris
  • Theatre in Paris contributor

The inside scoop on Paris' most iconic monument

Welcoming almost 7 million visitors a year, the most visited paid-for monument in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been standing tall and strong since being completed in 1889. Acting as the world's tallest man-made structure for 41 years, this incredibly beautiful masterpiece of iron and lace has a long history. Here are some unique facts about this breathtaking tower one simply cannot miss visiting once in their life!

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1. Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower, is the man who also designed the metal framework of the famous Statue of Liberty.
 

2. The tower was lit by gaslights until 1909. Now, the tower has 280 headlamps giving it the golden color, and sparkles with 20,000 light bulbs every hour.

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3. The Eiffel Tower was built to serve as the entrance to the World’s Fair in 1889 and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Republic.

4. In 1944, Hitler ordered the military governor of Paris to destroy the tower, he refused. In addition, during the German occupation, the tower was closed to the public and Nazis attempted to attach a large swastika to the top, but it blew away.

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5. Technically, it is actually illegal to capture photos of the Eiffel Tower at night and sell them, as the light display is still protected under copyright law. The light display designed by Pierre Bideau, didn’t begin until 1983. So considering the light display a piece of art, it will continue to be protected for an additional 70 years after his death, which won't be for quite some time.

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6. The color of the Eiffel Tower has changed over the years. Every 7 years it is repainted, taking about 60 tons of paint in three shades all named “Eiffel Tower Brown”

7. Gustave Eiffel kept a small apartment on the third floor to entertain family and friends, it’s now open to visitors.

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8. From 1925 to 1934 the Eiffel Tower was used by car manufacturer Citroen as a giant billboard, it was recorded as the biggest advertisement in the world by Guinness Book of Records.

9. On windy days, the tower sways about 6 to 7 centimetres (2 to 3 inches) and during cold weather, the tower shrinks about 6 inches. Overall, the height varies about 15 centimetres (5.9 inches).

10. In one year, the lifts travel a combined distance of 103,000 km, which is equivalent to two and a half times the circumference of the Earth.

Have you joined the millions of people who have climbed the hundreds of stairs to the top? If you plan on doing this soon, we suggest booking your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line!

Did you know Théâtre du Ranelagh is just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower?