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Friday Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 15: People take part in a tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela on the Parvis des droits de l’homme (Human Rights square) on December 15, 2013, in Paris, France. (Photo by Frederic T Stevens/Getty Images)

The Eiffel Tower is probably the best known landmark outside the United States. It’s been featured in books, magazines, and movies and has held its place in history ever since it was constructed. It’s a truly amazing structure.

In 1889 the World’s Fair in Paris celebrated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. There was a contest to construct a monument at the entrance of the World’s Fair. A company called Eiffel et Compagnie, owned by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, got the contract. Eiffel himself didn’t actually do the design. That honor goes to one of his employees — Maurice Koechlin.

These two men also designed the interior framework of the Statue of Liberty years earlier. Here are some more fun things you might not have known about that big, iron, thing we call the Eiffel Tower.

Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

  • The four feet at the base of the tower correspond to the four points of the compass.
  • The final design called for 18,000 pieces of “puddle iron,” a type of wrought iron used in construction in those days.
  • You’ll find the most well known structure in Paris on the Champ de Mars.
  • The Eiffel Tower is 1,050 feet high and was the tallest structure in the world for 41 years before being passed by the Chrysler Building in New York City.
  • The tower is made of iron and weighs about 10,000 tons and has 2.5 million rivets to hold it all together.
  • The tower was originally created as a temporary exhibit at the World’s Fair and was almost torn down in 1909.
  • Saving the tower paid off during World War I it was used to intercept radiotelegraph signals from the enemy.
  • Hitler also gave orders to destroy the tower during World War II but the order was never carried out.
  • A tower of this size would have to have some movement. Metal expands with heat and sunlight causes the tower to move about 7 inches it also grows about six inches. It also sways slightly in high winds.
  • The Eiffel Tower is lighted by 5 billion lights.
  • The tower has 108 stories and 1,1710 steps but there are two elevators. During WW II the French cut the elevator cables so the Nazi’s would have to take the stairs to the top.
  • Seven tons of paint is applied every seven years to help prevent it from rust.
  • Its one of the most copied structures in the world with at least 30 replicas in various sizes around the world.

Some Final Thoughts

The Eiffel Tower had a extreme makeover in 1986. It’s the most visited paid monument in the world welcoming 7 million people each year. Five hundred employees maintain restaurants, elevators, and security for the International landmark. Have you been there? Tell us about your visit?

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