There is nothing as distinctive to the Parisian cityscape as the structure of the Eiffel Tower. Revered as a true engineering marvel, the Eiffel tower stands as a testimony to the sheer determination of man in the achievement of numerous feats once thought impracticable. Standing 324 meters tall and weighing about 10,100 tons, the Eiffel Tower remains the most visited monuments in the world with around millions of visitors annually. Below are some incredible facts about this iconic monument that may help in your next Paris tours.
The Eiffel Tower was built for the Exposition Universelle or World’s Fair of 1889. This was held to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and was completed on March 31, 1889. It remained the tallest man-made structure in the whole world for a period of about 41 years until the opening of the Chrysler Building in New York in the year 1930.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel
The French engineer and architect Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower for celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. Under his supervision, the tower was completed in a record time of two years, two months and five days, which is considered as a major architectural achievement.
Ever since the tower opened to the public in the year 1889, more than 250 million visitors have come to Paris to get a glimpse of this iconic monument. The Eiffel Tower has a visitor turnover of about 7 million each year. Visitors are from various parts of the world, which make it the most visited monument in the whole world.
More than 20,000 light bulbs light up the complete structure of the Eiffel Tower. There are about 5000 lights on each side and these lights are turned on every hour for five minutes until 1 am. The arrangement of lighting in the tower is a copyrighted work of art, which makes it illegal to photograph when the tower is lit up.
During World War I, the French military used the Tower’s wireless station for intercepting enemy broadcasts. One of the well-known uses of the Eiffel Tower was the interception of a coded message between Germany and Spain that led to the arrest and execution of the Dutch exotic dancer Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod or Mata Hari.