The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable structures on the planet. It’s a world renowned landmark of Paris, France and perfectly exemplifies the City of Lights. Some facts about this architectural wonder are common, but there are also plenty of lesser known facts!
Did you know the Eiffel Tower was originally intended for another city? Or that it was met with harsh criticism before it was constructed? Read on to discover insightful information about this landmark and explore its history throughout the years!
Let’s get into some unique and fascinating Eiffel Tower facts!
Facts About the Eiffel Tower From When it First Opened
Eiffel Tower (Photo credit – afthailande.org)
The Eiffel Tower has stood in Paris since the 19th-century. Today, it’s a popular icon in French history and culture, but it wasn’t always so popular.
Here are some Paris Eiffel Tower facts from its early stages, when the tower first started welcoming visitors!
The first digging work for the Eiffel Tower started on January 28, 1887, the tower was completed on March 31, 1889!
The Eiffel Tower was constructed to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution at the 1889 World’s Fair, and to demonstrate the industrial skillfulness of France to the rest of the world! The Tower was the main symbol of the World’s Fair and served as the entrance arch to the Fair.
The idea of the Eiffel Tower was born out of a competition to select a monument that would serve as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair! Out of more than 100 submissions, the competition was won by Gustave Eiffel’s consulting and construction firm, Eiffel et Compagnie.
The official inauguration of the Eiffel Tower was on March 31, 1889, 7 days before the World’s Fair officially opened on May 6, 1889.
The Eiffel Tower was an instant success with the public, and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top before the lifts entered service on May 26, 1889!
Not everyone liked the Eiffel Tower however, many criticized its bold and modern design.
Newspapers received many angry letters that said the tower didn’t fit into the feel of the city! 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals signed a manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887.
There were originally four restaurants on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower: a Russian restaurant, a French restaurant, a Flemish restaurant and an Anglo-American bar!
The Eiffel Towel was the world’s tallest building for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York CIty was built in 1931 and stole this title!
Fun Facts About the Eiffel Tower’s Designers and Builders
From left to right (Maurice Koechlin, Émile Nouguier, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel)
It took a large team to build the Eiffel Tower, and there were many brains behind this massive operation! Many people associate the Eiffel Tower with the man it was named after, however, there were many other people who also played a key role in the towers development!
Here is some information on the Eiffel Tower’s designers and builders!
The Eiffel Tower is named after French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
While Eiffel earned the naming rights for the tower, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, the two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, drew the original design!
Gustave Eiffel was a French civil engineer and noted bridge builder, he was a master of metal construction and built bridges, buildings and structures all around the world!
Gustave Eiffel designed the supporting framework for the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
During its design, Eiffel included a small living space for himself at the top, where he hosted famous guests, including Thomas Edison! It is now open to the public to tour.
The names of the 72 French scientists, engineers and mathematicians who contributed to the building of the Eiffel Tower are engraved on the sides of the tower under the first balcony.
The list of the 72 names contains no women! The list has been criticized for excluding the name of French mathematician Sophie Germain, whose work on the theory of elasticity was used in the construction of the tower.
Of the 250-300 men who worked on the actual building of the Eiffel Tower,nobody died as a result of the towers construction!
An Italian man named Angelo Scagliotti who worked on the tower died after it was completed. He took his girlfriend to the Eiffel Tower to show her to complete project, while walking around the tower he lost his footing, causing him to fall to his death!
Interesting Fact About the Eiffel Tower During WWI and WWII
Photograph shows a guard at the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France during World War (Photo credit – usembassy)
The Eiffel Tower has had a few memorable moments during both World Wars. It was used as a sign of defiance, and also as an area that helped pave the way for military advancement and achievement! The Eiffel Tower was closed to the public during both World Wars, but was still able toaid in the war effort.
Here is some Eiffel Tower information you might not have known!
The south leg of the Eiffel Tower hid a secret WWI military bunker. Guards were posted outside the entrance full-time to guard this top-secret base.
During World War I, the French military placed a radio transmitter in the Eiffel Tower. This device was used to intercept enemy message! This was especially useful during the Battle of the Marne, in 1914, when signals were sent out to direct the French troops and jam German radio communications. This hindered the enemy’s advancement on Paris and contributed to an allied victory!
During the German occupation of France in WWII the cables to the Eiffel Tower’s lift were cut by Paris city officials as an act of defiance. This was an attempt to deter the Nazi’s from using the tower as a propaganda tool, and to force Hitler to climb to the top if he wanted to use the tower for war purposes! The lifts were not repaired until 1946.
Nazi soldiers attempted to attach a very large swastika flag to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but it blew away after a few hours and had to be replaced with a much smaller one!
It is rumored that Hitler gave an order for the tower to be demolished to the military Governor of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, but that he refused to obey the order.
The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in 1889, the same year Hitler was born!
let’s get into somefun facts about the Eiffel Tower for kids!
The Eiffel Tower took two years, two months and five days to construct.
The Eiffel Tower grows when the weather is hot and shrinks when it’s cold!
During cold weather the tower can shrink by as much as 6-inches!
The tower can sway as much as 2-3 inches in the wind.
The Eiffel Tower is nicknamed La Dame De Fer, which means The Iron Lady in English.
The Eiffel Tower in French translates to La Tour Eiffel
The color of the Eiffel Tower has changed over the years, It was a reddish-brown color when it was first constructed, and was even painted yellow at one point! Today it’s painted a special color called “Eiffel Tower Brown”, which gives it it’s brilliant bronze color.
The paint on the Eiffel Tower weighs as much as 10 elephants!
The tower is painted in three shades, darker at the bottom and progressively lighter towards the top to complement the Parisian sky!
There are more than 30 replicas of the Paris Eiffel Tower around the world, including a half-scale replica at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Nevada, USA and a full scale replica called the Tokyo Tower in Japan!
The lifts inside the Eiffel Tower travel a combined distance of 64,001 miles a year –that’s two and a half times the circumference of the Earth!
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world! Since the very first day it was inaugurated, the tower has been attracting a high number of visitors. Although the structure of the Eiffel Tower remains unchanged, quite a few other things have changed since its opening. As the number of visitors grows, so do new facts about the tower!
Here is a list of some present day Eiffel Tower informationand facts!
The Eiffel Tower welcomes almost 7 million people a year, making it the most visited paid-for monument in the world!
About 70- 75% of the people that visit the Eiffel Tower every year are from other countries.
Since the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, more than 250 million people have visited!
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, although certain holidays might affect regular hours.
The Eiffel Tower is located in a vibrant neighborhood of Paris, in the seventh arrondissement, near the Seine River. The tower is found at one end of the Champ de Mars!
The Eiffel Tower generally attracts very long lines. Skip-the-line tickets are available and a great option for individuals pressed for time!
Part of the first floor of the tower is made of glass, stand on this see-through section and you’ll have a straight view 187-feet down!
Every night, and every hour on the hour, from dusk to 1:00 am the Eiffel Tower is lit up and sparkles for five minutes while the Eiffel Tower’s top beam lights up the sky! The tower uses around 20,000 LED light bulbs to light up the structure. There are 5,000 light bulbs on each side of the tower.
The beacon at the top of the Eiffel Tower was introduced on the countdown to the 21st century, on New Years Even in 1999. Two beams of light cut across the sky at a distance of 49 miles!
There is a Champagne Bar built into the top floor of the Eiffel Tower. That’s right, you can admire the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower with a glass of bubbly!
There’s a post office located on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower! Mail your Paris postcards and letters here and they’ll receive a unique postmark!
The Eiffel Tower has two restaurants: Le 58 Tour Eiffel on the first level, and Le Jules Verne, a gourmet restaurant on the second level.
The Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall, including the antenna at the top! The exactly Eiffel Tower height without the antenna is 984 feet tall.
The total weight of the tower is 10,100 tons, it’s comprised of 7,500 tons of iron and 2.5 million rivets!
There are 1,710 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but visitors are only allowed to climb to the second floor. To reach the other levels of the tower they have to take the lift the rest of the way!
The Eiffel Tower has a unique and fascinating history!It has seen many changes and world events unfold since it was constructed in the 19th-century. As the history tied to this monument continues to grow, so do the facts that surround it!
Here are a few more miscellaneous facts and interesting things about the Eiffel Tower you might not have known!
The Eiffel Tower is married! That’s right. Erika LaBrie, a woman with object sexuality married the tower in 2007. Changing her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel, appropriately.
A popular movie cliché is that many Paris buildings and houses offers views of the Eiffel Tower.In reality, zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to seven story’s, meaning only a small number of tall buildings have a clear view of the tower.
The tower was not meant to be a permanent feature! It was only supposed to stand for 20 years and be dismantled in 1909. The tower was saved from demolition because of a radio antenna and wireless telegraph transmitter in the tower, the government decided this feature made the tower too useful to demolish!
The Eiffel Tower isn’t just a tourist attraction, it’s housed a newspaper office, a post office, scientific laboratories, a theater, and the first level becomes an ice rink every year!
Every 7 years the Eiffel Tower has to be repainted to protect from dust, it requires approximately 50-60 tons of paint! It has been repainted at least 18 times since it was built.
In 1912, Franz Reichelt died after jumping to his death from the Eiffel Tower while testing a wearable parachute of his own design. The parachute failed to deploy and he fell 187-feet to his death!
The Eiffel Tower was originally intended to be built in Barcelona, not Paris. The Spanish thought the tower would be an eyesore, and the city rejected Gustave Eiffel’s plans!
Whether you were looking for interesting Eiffel Tower info for kids, or possible questions to add to an Eiffel Tower trivia game, we hope you enjoyed reading our list of fun Eiffel Tower facts!
This tower is an iconic structure and symbol, not just for Paris, but for the world. This fascinating monument will continue to amaze and delight guests so long as it stands! The history of the Eiffel Tower will continue to be written, and new facts will continue to emerge!
If you’re planning a trip to France, you don’t want to miss this monument!
Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.