The Eiffel tower in Paris

Local people

Paris is in seventh place when it comes to the city with the highest number of tourist visits. Every year 14.4 million tourists visit the city, and of these tourists, almost 7 million go to the Eiffel Tower. It makes the Eiffel Tower the most-visited paid tourist attraction in the world. Meanwhile, more than 250 million people have visited this attraction, and many more will follow.

This year the Eiffel Tower exists exactly 130 years and if the tower could and would like to write there would be an interesting book with all kinds of fun facts of the history. Because this is not the case, we write a few helpful facts about this immensely popular tourist attraction.

Stairs in the Eiffel Tower

The tower is 324 meters high, and you can walk up, but then you have to take 1,665 steps. Because the tower has three floors, you can also walk a part of it and do the rest with the elevator. The first floor is 57 meters high, the second floor is 115 meters high, and the last floor is 276 meters high.

On the second floor designer Gustave Eiffel had his apartment, which is now publicly accessible. To get to the top, you will always have to use your legs. Once upstairs, you have to take into account the inches of movement from left to right during a strong wind.

If you want to take the elevator to the second floor, you pay 11,- Euro. If you're going to go one level higher, you have to pay 17,- Euro, but keep in mind that there are enormous queues. Even though the elevator travels more than 103,000 kilometers every year, an hour or two waiting is not unusual. And then we're just talking about going up.

The tallest building in the world

With a weight of 10,100 tons, the steel framework was the tallest building in the world for more than 41 years. When the Chrysler building was completed in New York in 1930, the honor went to that building. For a long time, it remained the tallest building in France, but that honor also disappeared like snow in the sun when in 1973 a new military transmitter with a height of 343 meters was built.

Not only people sometimes suffer from cold weather. Because of all the steel, the tower can shrink a few inches in winter. Every seven years the tower is repainted, and the 60 tons of paint needed for this must be destined to shrink every season.

The Eiffel Tower had hardly been there anymore

The fact that the Eiffel Tower can still be admired is due to the courage of Dietrich von Choltitz. When the Allies were about to liberate the city from the Nazi regime at the end of the Second World War, Hitler ordered the tower to be destroyed. Dietrich von Choltitz disobeyed this order.

When the Eiffel Tower was ready to serve as a showpiece for the World's Fair in 1889 after two years of construction, it would only remain standing for 20 years. Luckily for the tower and the tourists, radio communication was on the rise and the tower was used as a transmitter station. During the First World War, it was possible to interrupt and to tap the German radio from a great height.

The French newspaper Le Temps once published a letter from a collection of writers, painters, sculptors and architects who were disgusted by the imposing tower. They protested against the view of the Eiffel Tower, which they considered being monstrous. It was an attack on good taste, and they renamed it the Tower of Babel.

The writer Guy de Maupassant thought the appearance of the Eiffel Tower was so tasteless that he always stayed in the Restaurant Jules Verne on the second floor. According to him, this was the only place in town where he didn't need to see "the thing". Fortunately, this call for the destruction of the monument was not heeded.

eiffel tower stunts

Spectacular stunts thanks to the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower has provided high-profile stunts. They jumped off with parachutes, flew underneath, climbed up from the outside and much more. Of course, this didn't always go well. In 1912 Franz Reichelt participated in a contest to jump "safely" from the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, this didn't go well. Leon Collet wanted to fly under the tower. He too could not tell the story after his attempt.

eiffel tower construction and lights

Paris is the city of light thanks to the Eiffel Tower.

A visit to the Eiffel Tower in the evening is breathtaking because of the approximately 20,000 lamps that illuminate the tower every day. By 2015, the annual electricity consumption was 680,000 kWh. Thanks to the rise of LED lighting, this is decreasing considerably. Partly thanks to the Eiffel Tower, Paris is also known as the city of light of the world.

As early as 1926, Citroën saw the potential of the Eiffel Tower for its commercial purposes. For nine years, the tower was lit by a billboard of 250,000 light bulbs from Citroën. This campaign, which lasted until 1934, even earned a place in the Guinness Book of records.

The construction of the Eiffel Tower

The tower consists of more than 18,000 individual components and 2.5 million rivets. Each rivet had to be applied by four people. One person had to heat the rivet, two people held it in front of the hole, and the fourth person closed the back. More than 350 people participated in the construction. On the side of the tower are the names of the 72 engineers who contributed to the design.

If you want to know more about the Eiffel Tower, please contact a local inhabitant of Paris via live video calling on CallTheONE.

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