SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT the EIFFEL TOWER
Witnessing the beauty of the Eiffel tower is almost everyone’s dream because that emblematic beauty is worth visiting once in a life. It stands tall over the city of Paris attracting almost everyone’s gaze. Did you know how much time did the construction people take to build huge beauty? Well, it took them two years, two months and five days to build the tall iron structure, and was inaugurated on March 31st of 1889 for the 1889 World’s Fair.
This structure is pretty unusual, and there is actually so much to learn about it! I won’t spoil all the history behind this monument, because I want you to enjoy every minute you’ll spend on the Eiffel Tower, but here are some fun facts that you will like to read,
Fun fact no 1: It was meant to be demolished
It was supposed to be demolished twenty years after its construction. As some of you know the Iron Lady was built for the 1889 World Fair. This fair was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Prise de la Bastille, “the storming of the Bastille”. This date will always be very important to the French, it is the fête national, and it commemorates the beginning of the French revolution and the start of the French struggle for democracy.
So, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in 1889 and was supposed to be up only for twenty years. Moreover, the Parisians and artists of that time hated it, describing it as “useless and monstrous”! They even started a petition for the tower to be dismantled.
Gustave Eiffel did not want it to be destroyed, so he gave the tower a new purpose, and turned it into a huge radio antenna. The French military was then able to send and receive wireless messages. One can say the Eiffel Tower was of great value during WW1
Fun fact no 2: Most Parisians haven’t climbed the tower
As you know, the Eiffel Tower is one of the greatest landmarks of Paris. It is one of the most-visited monument in the world, with 7 000 000 visitors per year! The tower 1 665 steps do not scare the sightseers! But, you might be surprised by what I am about to tell you: most Parisians haven’t climbed the tower! Speaking for myself, I’ve lived in Paris for twenty years and I’ve never been to the top. It is probably due to the fact that we have the tower the whole year, so we feel like we can climb the Iron Lady whenever we want.
There is a saying that goes, “you only know what you have when it is gone”. If you’re not afraid of heights, you should definitely go to the top while in Paris, because it is a one-time experience for most people, so seize the opportunity when you can! Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower in the next five years is definitely in my bucket list. Is it in yours?
Fun fact no 3: It was not designed by Gustave Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower was named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company was in charge of the project. Gustave Eiffel did not design the famous iron structure, two engineers that worked for him in the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel did, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier. He did, however, designed the Statue of Liberty spine.
In recognition of engineers, scientists and mathematicians who contributed to the construction of the tower, the names of these persons were engraved on the tower. 72 names, to be exact.
Fun fact no 4: The tower has to be repainted every seven years (by hand)
It takes a lot of work to maintain the Iron Lady all pretty and elegant! Sixty tonnes of paint are required to restore its sparkle and vibrancy! Moreover, all the painting work is done by hand and takes about eighteen months to be completed!
Fun fact no 5: The Iron Lady grows in the summer
Last but not least, the Iron Lady actually grows in the summer and shrinks in the winter. How incredible is that? During the warmer days, thermal expansion causes the metal to grow. Due to heat absorption, the tower can grow about seventeen centimeters, 6.75 inches. During the winter, it’s the opposite, thermal contraction happens.
image source: Google