Eiffel Tower Fun Facts and Gifts
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most easily recognized structures
in Paris, but it hasn't always been universally loved. Find out more
Eiffel Tower Fun Facts,
Eiffel Tower history
Eiffel Tower Gifts
Engineer/builder: Gustave Alexandre
Eiffel who also helped build the Statue of Liberty
Height: 984 feet (1,051 feet with
antenna addition for television transmission). When built, it was the worlds
tallest structure. There are 3 platforms, 1,652 steps to climb to the top (there's
also an elevator!).
Dates: Built 1887-1889 for the World's
Fair in 1889 which celebrated the centennial of the French Revolution 1789-1799.
Construction: Cross-braced latticed
girder for minimum wind resistance built of 7,000 tons of high quality wrought
iron in 18,000 parts using 300 skyjacks and held together by 2.5 million rivets.
It is one of the earliest examples of wrought iron construction of this magnitude.
Weight: 7,000 tons. It takes 52 tons
of paint every seven years to repaint it.
Movement: the top never sways more
than 4.5 inches even in the strongest winds, but the height can change 6 inches
depending on the temperature.
View: On a very clear day you can
see 42 miles from the 3rd platform.
Visitors: 6.9 million people visit
the Eiffel tower each year.
Lights: In 1900 gaslights were replaced
by electric lights. Since 1985, 352 sodium lamps have given it a yellow light
at night. In 2003, 20,000 bright white lights were added which will shine 10
minutes every hour on the hour from sunset until after midnight. It took 70
tons of equipment, 26 miles of electrical wiring, and a team of 40 mountaineers,
architects and engineers, fighting high winds, snowstorms, pigeons and even
bats (information from the New York Times).
Ice skating: in 2005 an ice skating
rink was opened for the first time.
Looking Good: Every 7 years she gets a paint job--66
tons of paint in signature Eiffel Tower brown, 55 tons of paint erode between
paintings, 25 painters work on the project, 18 months to complete, 31 miles
of climbing rope, 2009 estimate is $5.29 million (St Petersburg Times 4.1.09)
The bold and unusual design caused considerable
controversy. Many Frenchmen were vocal in their disapproval, including the famous:
Charles Garnier, architect of the Opera; Gounod, composer; and writers Francois
Coppee, Leconte de Lisle, Dumas the Younger, Maupassant. Others, Apollinaire, Cocteau,
Pissarro, Dufy, Utrillo, Seurat, Marquet were strongly in favor. It was nearly torn
down in 1909, but it's use for French radio telegraphy saved it. In 1916 it became
the terminal for the first radio telephone service across the Atlantic. A meteorological
station, radio communications station (1918), television transmission antenna (1957)
and a suite of rooms used by Eiffel are located near the top.
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