Get to Know the Eiffel Tower

Anyone who simply walks, floats or busses by the Eiffel Tower, snapping a few pics along the way, has missed the essence of her soul.

Take your time. Get to know her. Check her out from every possible exterior angle—from afar and close up. You’ll get some outstanding views of her by bus or boat—but, don’t miss the opportunity to walk around, under and inside her. Climb to the top and sway with her. If you have hunger, dine with her. (You are NOT in the U.S.A. The cuisine is delicious even inside the the Eiffel Tower.) 

Here are some things you may or may not know about the Eiffel Tower:

  • It was the creation of Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
  • Barcelona had first dibs, but turned it down.
  • At the time it was built in the late 1880’s, it was the tallest building in the world and was completed in two years and two months – something current day contractors would not be likely to do!
  • It was originally supposed to be a temporary [20 year] exhibit. It was saved in 1909, and turned into a giant radio antenna.
  • Mr. Eiffel had an apartment at the very top.
  • His other claim to creative fame is the spine of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Today the Eiffel Tower is brown, but in 1889 it was yellow and in the mid-1950’s, it was a reddish brown.
  • In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Citroën got the one and only chance to advertise on the tower.
  • The tower wasn’t always embraced. During construction, numerous architects and other creative snobs petitioned against it claiming it was “useless” and “monstrous.”
  • During WWI, signals were sent out from the top of the tower telling the French troops to head to the front line.
  • When Hitler came to visit the Eiffel Tower during WWII, the cables were cut so he had to take the stairs…all 1,665 of them.
  • At one point, a con artist actually “sold” it to a scrap metal dealer.
  • In 1967, it was almost temporarily relocated to Canada.
  • The tower actually shrinks during winter – by about four to eight inches!
  • In 2007, a nutty woman actually married the Eiffel Tower. She is now known as Ms. Erika la Tour Eiffel.
  • It’s the most visited monument in the world that you have to pay for with an estimated seven million visitors each year.
  • There are more than 30 replicas of the tower around the world.
  • Every hour on the hour of every night the Eiffel Tower sparkles with 20,000 golden lights for five minutes. Head to the Place du Trocadéro to see the show.
  • In winter, ice skating on the temporary rink is included with admission.

SOURCES: FactSlides and HuffPost Travel