Friday, May 6, 2016

Random Facts About... The Eiffel Tower

Whether you're lucky enough to have visited Paris or have only ever dreamed of going there, there’s no doubt you could all recognize the iconic Parisian symbol: The Eiffel Tower. These random facts will prove to you this poor construction has been through all sort of things…and some of them are quite weird.


1. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Paris Exposition and was not intended to be permanent.

2. The Eiffel Tower was going to be demolished in 1909, but was saved because it was repurposed as a giant radio antenna. And in 1913, the tower transmitted a signal all the way to Washington DC. The Tower is also a huge lightning rod.

3. Gustave Eiffel used latticed wrought iron to construct the tower to demonstrate that the metal could be as strong as stone while being lighter.

4. Con artist Victor Lustig "sold" the Eiffel Tower to a scrap metal dealer. Victor was a notorious scammer who “sold” the Tower even twice. 

5. The Eiffel Tower was originally intended for Barcelona, Spain, but the project was rejected.

6.  Because it’s made of wrought iron, the height of the Eiffel Tower varies by 5.9 inches (15 cm) due to temperature changes.

7. Inventor Franz Reichelt died by jumping from the Eiffel Tower while testing a parachute of his own design.

8. 1,665 steps are needed to climb all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

9. A woman named Erika "married" the Eiffel Tower in a commitment ceremony in 2007. Now her name is Erika Eiffel.

10. There is a race called “Vertical” that determines the best climbers of the Eiffel Tower.

11. There are over 30 replicas of the Eiffel Tower around the world. The most known can be found in Las Vegas.

12. The paint on the Eiffel Tower weighs 50/60 tonnes, as much as 10 elephants.

13. Gustave Eiffel had an apartment for himself at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The project of the Watkin's Tower

14. In 1891, London built a structure designed to surpass the Eiffel Tower in height. It was unsteady, never completed and demolished in 1907. The ambitious structure was built on the site of Watkin’s Tower.

15. Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the Eiffel Tower, was also behind the design for the Statue of Liberty's internal frame.

16. At the time of its construction, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world.

17. 300 workers, 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets were needed to build the Eiffel Tower.

18. If the Eiffel Tower was built today, it would cost about 31 million US dollars.

19. The Eiffel Tower was almost temporarily relocated to Canada in 1967. 

The Tower during the Nazi occupation
(1940)
20. During WWII, when Hitler visited Paris, the French deactivated the lifts on the Eiffel Tower so that Hitler would have to use the stairs if he wanted to reach the top. The lifts were repaired only in 1946. During the Nazi occupation the tower was closed for public.

21. A woman tried to commit suicide from the Eiffel Tower, landed on a car and later married the person who owned the car. Unfortunately such a happy ending is a rare thing, the Eiffel tower has one of the the highest suicide rates , which is 17.5 per 1000 people.

22. A man once tried to blow up the Eiffel Tower because its light was shining into his bedroom, keeping him awake at night. Ivan Chtcheglov was planning to use dynamite stolen from some construction site, luckily he was arrested and committed to a mental hospital by his spouse.

23. The Eiffel Tower in Paris has a light show that runs for 5 minutes every hour, every night, until dawn.

24. The Eiffel Tower was originally painted red. It appeared in red color in the center of Paris in 1889.

25. The tower is painted a lighter shade at the bottom and a darker shade near the top to counteract the effect of atmospheric perspective.

26. Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower the names of 72 French scientists, physicians, chemists,  engineers and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions to science.

Now, if you're planning to go seeing this amazing tower, you'll also see all the bizzarre things that happened during its life. Bonne chance et ne jamais cesser de fouiner.

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