10 General facts about the Eiffel Tower
It’s impossible to think of Paris without thinking of the Eiffel Tower. Every year more than 6 million people visit this famous Paris landmark. So here are 10 general facts:
- The Eiffel Tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall and was the tallest human-made structure in the world during 41 years (1889-1930). The Chrysler Building (New York City) surpassed the Eiffel Tower to assume this title. However, because of the addition of the antenna on top of the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft).
- The tower has three levels for visitors. The third level observatory’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union.
- You can visit the Eiffel Tower every day of the year. An adult ticket will cost around 15 euro. You can buy your tickets online here.
- If you want to avoid waiting in a queue that often takes at least two hours during the summer months, you can buy a backstage pass to the Eiffel Tower. It’s a fully escorted tour by an English-speaking expert guide, who will lead you to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower. Adult tickets cost 24,5 euro. Buy your tickets here.
- Another (more expensive) option to avoid waiting in line is to make a reservation in one of the two Eiffel Tower restaurants: 58 Tour Eiffel or Le Jules Verne. Especially Le Jules Verne is famous because it’s runned by Alain Ducasse. Le Jules Verne has one Michelin star. You can book online for both restaurants here.
- When the Eiffel Tower was first built, not everybody liked it. Many criticized its bold design. Guy de Maupassant, a popular French writer, supposedly ate lunch in the tower’s restaurant every day because it was the one place in Paris where the tower was not visible.
- The Eiffel Tower has a rich history. One of the saddest stories is Franz Reichelt’s. Franz Reichelt (sometimes referred to as the Flying Tailor), was an Austrian-born French tailor, inventor and parachuting pioneer. He wanted to demonstrate his parachute design by jumping from the Eiffel Tower. Instead of using dummies he wanted to try the experiment himself. When questioned as to whether he planned to take any additional precautions, such as using a safety rope, he replied that he would not, since he intended to trust his life entirely to his parachute. The parachute failed to deploy and he crashed into the icy ground at the foot of the tower. Although it was clear that the fall had killed him, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.
- To protect the iron surface, the Eiffel Tower is covered in paint. The colour is used in three very slightly different shades at different elevations of the tower (higher elevations use a lighter shade), in order to accentuate the impression of height. The Eiffel Tower has been painted in a number of different colors throughout its history transitioning between red-browns to mustard yellows back to red-brown and more recently, variations of brown. You can find the previous colours on the first floor of the Tower.
- Because of its size and structure, the Eiffel Tower has inspired extremely sophisticated andoriginal lighting innovations. It was lighting designer Pierre Bideau who in 1985 used 336 projectors to bathe the Tower in yellow-orange radiance. His installation set the standard lighting colour used today to illuminate the Tower at night. Since then, the Eiffel Tower has glittered, sparkled, glowed, and beamed its presence across the world in many colours. At present, the Eiffel Tower is adorned with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour.
- The Eiffel Tower is very popular and inspired many people. So a lot of cities and theme parks wanted a sort of replica. The famous replica in Las Vegas is 165 m (541 ft) tall. There is also one in Window of the World (a Chinese theme park). Falconcity of Wonders, a project being built in Dubai, will feature a life-size replica of the Eiffel Tower. However Falconcity of Wonders is not likely to be completed before 2020.