The Romantic History Behind the Eiffel Tower
Paris, the City of Love, is famous for the soaring and majestic Eiffel Tower. Overlooking the Champ de Mars Park, this iconic structure has long been a go-to spot for marriage proposals and declarations of unbreakable love. Read these fascinating facts behind this awe-inspiring monument.
She’s Earned Her Place in the Heart of Paris
Built as the temporary entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair (which commemorated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution), the Tower was constructed by a company owned by Gustave Eiffel. Rather than dismantling it once the fair was over, as was originally planned, Parisians insisted that it remain standing, right there in the heart of the French capital. On March 15, 2018, the Tower marks its 129th birthday.
The Tower Shares a Heritage with Our Own Statue of Liberty
Gustave Eiffel also designed components for the Statue of Liberty after the original designer passed away, which means that Lady Liberty and the Iron Lady can be considered half-sisters.
There Are Secrets and Surprises on Every Level
Eiffel set up a secluded private apartment on the third floor of the Tower, 1,000 feet in the air, where he entertained famous friends including Thomas Edison. Today, it’s open to the public. And every winter, on the first floor of the tower, visitors can ice skate for free – 200 feet off the ground!
The Height of the Tower Fluctuates
The Tower, which measures 984 feet high (excluding broadcast antennas), can grow up to six inches taller in the sunlight, due to thermal expansion of its iron beams and rivets.
She’s Seen Her Share of Makeovers
The Eiffel tower was originally a reddish-brown hue, then yellow. Her now-signature shade, Eiffel Tower Brown, was first applied in 1968. Every seven years, 60 tons of fresh paint are applied in three progressively lighter shades from bottom to top, to showcase the Tower’s silhouette against the sky and protect it from oxidation and rust.
She’s Got a Copycat Following
So lovely is La Tour Eiffel that there are more than 30 replicas of varying sizes around the world, in cities from Las Vegas to Tokyo.
Date Night is Magical at the Tower
Each night, 20,000 lights on the structure twinkle for five minutes, every hour on the hour. Whether you’re snuggled on the benches of the Trocadero Gardens looking up at the spectacle, or enjoying a cozy dinner for two at the elegant 58 Tour Eiffel bistro on the first floor, its magic envelopes you.
Written by Wendy Helfenbaum