The Eiffel Tower is widely recognized as the iconic symbol of Paris, France, but did you know it was only intended to stay up for 20 years? Now, over 125 years later, this beautiful landmark is not only a symbol of the liberty, fraternity and freedom that the French people have fought hard to preserve, but it has evolved into an international symbol of romance and dreams for a better world.
Tuesday, March 31st is Eiffel Tower Day, which celebrates this masterpiece of construction by (Alexandre) Gustave Eiffel. It was erected in 1889 to be the entrance of the World’s Fair, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, so it was designed to be unique and grand.
The Eiffel Tower was only meant to be a temporary edifice, but it was so well build that not one part ever had to be returned for alteration. Now that’s a marvel! This unique tower became quickly beloved by the people, and after one year of being open, all of the construction costs had been recovered. While citizens thought this iron structure looked somewhat strange in Paris, they didn’t have the heart to watch it be demolished. Once it was discovered that it could be used as a radio tower, the notion of destruction was off the agenda and the Eiffel Tower would remain.
Eiffel Tower Fun Facts
- More than 250 million people have visited since it was constructed
- It is the most visited paid monument in the world
- There are an average of 25,000 visitors a day
- 72 names of famous French scientists, engineers and mathematicians are engraved on the sides of the tower under the 1st balcony – none of these were women
- The 72 names were engraved in an effort to “invoke science” because Eiffel was concerned over the negative view artists of the time had against the iron structure
- In Eiffel’s office at the top of the tower are 3 wax figures: Eiffel, his daughter Claire and famous American inventor Thomas Edison who had presented Eiffel with a gift of a gramophone
Every evening the tower sparkles like golden glitter for exactly 5 minutes each hour on the hour. It took 25 mountain climbers 5 months to install the 20,000 bulbs in the tower, 5,000 on each side! The golden color comes from 336 projectors equipped with high pressure, yellow-orange sodium lamps designed in 1985 by Pierre Bideau.
Exciting Eiffel Tower Tourist Information
Planning a trip to Paris? Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a unique experience with different activities at every level and open design elevators so you can see the views as you travel upwards! If you choose to climb the stairs, there are 704 from the ground to the second floor, however you adventurers will have to take an elevator from the second floor to get to the top!
1st Floor of the Eiffel Tower
- Transparent glass floor allows you to see the views 57 meters down
- Immersion show – images are projected onto 3 walls by 7 projectors
- Cultural Path – learn and discover all you ever wanted to know about the Eiffel Tower
- Spiral Staircase – in 1983, the spiral staircase that linked the second floor from the top that Eiffel used to access his office at the top, was taken down and sold at auction, except for 1 piece which remains as a historical marker
- 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant (brasserie chic) – get a gourmet meal that includes multiple courses such as soup, salad, pasta, fish, chicken or lamb entrees
- Buffet Tour Eiffel restaurant (quick bites) – for a quick bite for those who want to spend more time touring the tower, they carry sandwiches, salad, soup, pizza and freshly baked pastries
2nd Floor of the Eiffel Tower
- Tourist shops that are great for souvenirs
- Jules Verne gourmet restaurant (contemporary French cuisine) – enjoy the City of Lights twinkling as you make your way through a 5 or 6 course journey of sea urchin, caviar, lobster, foie gras and more!
- Story windows – tell the construction story and explain how the original hydraulic elevator worked (which was used until 1983)
- The Vision Well – not for those afraid of heights! This glance through window allows the spectator plunging views of the ground below and an unusual angle for taking unique photos
- Enjoy a panoramic view of the city
Top of the Eiffel Tower
- The most breathtaking views of the whole city of Paris
- Toast your trip to the top at the champagne bar
- A large party reception room that you can rent for 8 hours for a price of 5,200-9,700 euros, excluding tax. That doesn’t include food or refreshments, just the room!
Gustave Eiffel maintained an office at the top of the Eiffel Tower where he engaged in experiments with:
- A giant pendulum
- Pressure gauge
- Measuring air resistance
- Measuring atmospheric pressure
It is remarkable that the Eiffel Tower was only meant to be temporary and has become such a significant cultural icon for Paris. If you would like to commemorate a trip to see the Eiffel Tower or other monuments in Europe, check out the landmark ornaments or travel suitcase ornaments at OrnamentShop.com for a personalized travel souvenir.
Share this information with friends and family who love the Eiffel Tower, the most famous national monument in France!