125 years ago today, the Eiffel Tower officially opened after just 2 years, 2 months and 5 days of construction. Originally built for the 1889 World’s Fair and named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower; it is still as popular as ever.
We managed to tick visiting the Eiffel Tower off our bucket list last year in 2013 when we went on a road trip across Europe. I’m not sure what was more daunting though, standing directly underneath the Eiffel Tower looking up knowing full well we’ll soon be right at the top, or the fact there were massively long winding queues at each entrance! With such long queues during the middle of the day, the sun burning down on us would be too much to queue up for hours. This didn’t faze us though, but we decided to make the most of Paris during the day and decided to visit the Eiffel Tower at sunset instead. cue the pictures…
It’s safe to say this really is a must to visit if you are in Paris, from the elevators with windows all the way around, to the beautiful breathtaking views of the city at the top whilst sipping champagne.
10 Facts about the Eiffel Tower you never knew…
1. The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world when constructed for 41 years until New York City’s Chrysler Building rose up to 1,046 feet in 1930.
2. During the World’s Fair, the lifts were not fully operational yet from opening, so fair goers had to climb up 1710 steps to reach the top!
3. When the Eiffel was first built Novelist Guy de Maupassant hated the tower, but ate at its restaurant every day for lunch. When was asked why, Maupassant replied it was only place in Paris he couldn’t see it.
4. The Eiffel tower changes height in different seasons by as much as 6.75 inches due to the iron metal expanding in the summer sunshine.
5. It was originally built to stand for 20 years. The French military used the tower for radio communication due to its size and decided to keep it after its permit had expired.
6. The tower is painted different a different shade of colour from dark at the top compared to lighter below, this is counteract atmospheric perspective
7. It’s painted every 7 years and takes up to 60 tons of paint to help protect the Eiffel Tower from rust
8. The tower hasn’t always been a tourist attraction, it’s held a newspaper office, post office, scientific laboratories, a theater and every year the first level becomes an ice rink!
9. Attracting almost 7 million visitors every year has made the Eiffel Tower the most visited paid monument in the world.
10. The tower is made from 18,038 pieces that are joined by two-and-a-half million rivets.
Have you ever visited the Eiffel Tower? Were you a lover or hater? Or are you dying to go and scribble it off your bucket list? Let us know…