Sure, everyone knows what the Eiffel Tower is and where it is located. It has been said that it is the most visited monument in the world, with some 7 plus million visitors a year. And while this landmark may be the most emblematic image of Paris and France, there are tons of hidden gems about it’s history that are less common knowledge. Because I’m lucky enough to see this architectural feat from my window, I thought I’d look into the historic depth that doesn’t immediately meet the eye. Here’s the list of facts you may not have known about that iconic iron structure!
1. In 1960 , President Charles de Gaulle negotiated a secret agreement with the Mayor of Montreal Jean Drapeau to temporarily remove the Eiffel Tower and to ship it to Canada on for the Universal Exhibition of 1967 . Finally, the operating company of the Tour vetoed the project for fear that the French government would be unable to get it back to Paris. Administrative soucis, anyone?
2. Few people realize what a crucial role the Eiffel Tower played during the First World War, particularly during the Battle of the Marne in 1914. Indeed, the signals were emitted from the top of the tower to guide the French troops at the front lines. This plays a part in why it is now lit up at night and why Paris goes by the name of the City of Light.
3. Twenty years after its construction, the Eiffel Tower was almost completely dismantled and scrapped. All pieces were for sale! Fortunately , the project never came to fruition. I’m thinking this is another case of administrative soucis….
4. The architect of the tower, Gustave Eiffel had built a private office at the top of the Iron Lady, which can still be visited today. How anyone could get work done with that kind of a view, I have no idea.
5. In 1889 , the newspaper Le Figaro installed a printer on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. It still works and for a few euros you can even have your name printed on a copy of the newspaper name! So you’re not allowed to walk to the third level of the Eiffel Tower, but you’re allowed to print on the second level. French logic.
6. Aesthetically speaking, three different shades of color are used to paint the tower to give it accurate perspective when you look at it from the ground. In the same vein, it takes 50,000 kilograms (110,000 pounds) of those three shades of paint to coat the Eiffel Tower. Though this kind of paint job carries a hefty price tag, the cost of lighting the 5 billion lights on the Tower carries a staggering price tag, as it consumes 7.8 million kWh per year. Your utility bills seem cheap by comparison, eh?
Tell us what your favorite facts about the Eiffel Tower are! For more fun info, check out this site.