The Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure until 1930 and remains the most iconic in Paris. The 324-meter (1,063-foot) wrought iron lattice tower was built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and to house the equipment used to illuminate the fairgrounds at night during the event, which stretched over more than six months. It wasn’t originally intended to remain standing beyond the end of the fair, but it soon became a symbol of Paris and France and so was allowed to remain.
1) There are 3,500 steps to the top
The Eiffel Tower is a famous landmark in France and around the world. It was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, a French engineer, and built by more than 2,000 workers over two years. One of its most recognizable features is the antenna at the top that supports radio transmissions. The height of the tower is 324 meters (1,063 ft) and it has four levels for visitors to explore.
2) Gustave Eiffel was an engineer by trade
Gustave Eiffel was a successful engineer who designed bridges, buildings, and the iconic Parisian landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Born on December 15, 1832 in Dijon, France to a family of engineers and architects. Eiffel studied in both science and engineering. He was a very successful engineer who designed bridges, buildings and of course the iconic Parisian landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
3) It took two years to build
The tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world, but there are many things about it that people don’t know. Eiffel Tower was built for the World’s Fair in 1889, and it took two years to complete! It was originally supposed to be a temporary structure, but it has become one of Paris’s most recognizable landmarks.
4) One worker died during construction
One worker died during construction after he fell off the Eiffel Tower. The man, whose identity is unknown, was one of four workers who had been assigned to clean windows on the monument. Witnesses said they saw him sitting on a bench before he suddenly got up and walked away. He then climbed onto a metal beam and began to clean the tower’s windows, but lost his balance and fell. His body was found early Wednesday morning about half way down the tower’s height.
5) The tower sways 6 inches in high winds
When the winds are too high, the tower sways 6 inches in either direction. The Eiffel Tower’s original height was set at 984 feet (300 meters) but due to a miscalculation, it was actually 1,069.38 feet tall (324.7 meters). The tower weighs 7,300 metric tons and is 2 inches taller than Big Ben’s spire. It is painted once every seven years with 25 tons of paint.
6) Over 250 million people have visited
The tower has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world, with more than 250 million visits since its construction. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially disliked by many French artists and intellectuals for its industrial look and association with technological modernity; however it quickly became a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. From 1925 to 1947 it was the tallest manmade structure in the world, surpassing both New York’s Empire State Building (1931) and Chrysler Building (1930).
7) There’s more than just the tour—there are lounges, restaurants, and shops!
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular destinations in Paris. But did you know that there are some hidden gems up on the second and third levels of the tower? You can find lounges, restaurants, and shops located on these levels. Just don’t forget your passport!
8) It was never meant to be permanent
The tower was never meant to be permanent. It was designed as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World’s Fair, but became so popular that it remained in place. It is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks and has inspired artists such as Maurice Boitelle, Victor Vasarely and Alexander Calder. It takes 20 minutes to walk up all 1,063 steps of the Eiffel Tower on average.
9) The tower weighs over 10,000 tons
The tower weighs over 10,000 tons and was the world’s tallest man-made structure at the time of its completion. The Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall, including the height of the antenna. It contains 2.5 million rivets. It’s painted with 7,500 tons of paint (twice as much paint as required for the Golden Gate Bridge).
10) There’s an elevator on one side but not on the other. And that’s a historical thing. (explain further in subheading 2 of this section.)
The Eiffel Tower has two elevators. One of them is on the east side, while the other one is on the west side.
Strangely, there’s no elevator in the north or south sides of the tower. This was a deliberate decision by Gustave Eiffel himself because he wanted people to climb up and down the stairs for exercise. Climbing is also a great way to get a really good view of Paris from high above!