More than 200 million people have visited the Eiffel Tower since it was built in 1889. By the way, according to statistics, this is the most disappointing tourist attraction.
Interestingly, the Eiffel Tower might not have existed. When the French engineer Gustave Eiffel first decided to build it in 1887, his idea was met with a fair amount of criticism. Many well-known cultural figures of those times even signed a document that said: "Over the next years, we will have to look at the hideous shadow of the hated column of iron and screws, which will stretch over the city like an ink blot."
One of the biggest haters of the Eiffel Tower was the writer Guy de Maupassant, who often dined at the tower's restaurant, as this was the only place in Paris from where this "disgusting" building could not be seen.
The Eiffel Tower was originally built as a temporary structure to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It was the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair and was supposed to showcase the excellence of French technology and engineering.
By the way, 300 workers built it for about 2 years. Safety techniques were at their best, so there were no accidents, which the French like to boast about.
The tower was going to be dismantled in 20 years. However, the tallest building in the world at that time attracted many tourists and the Eiffel Tower remained.
During World War II, before Hitler entered Paris in 1940, the French disrupted an elevator drive that could not be repaired due to the war. Nazi soldiers were unable to reach the top of the tower to hang their flags. People began to say that "Hitler conquered France, but he could not conquer the Eiffel Tower."
The Eiffel Tower is painted in three different shades of colors. The darkest color is used at the base of the tower, and the brightest color is used at the top. It is coated with 60 tons of paint every 7 years in order to protect it from corrosion.
From 1925 to 1935, an illuminated Citroën car company sign adorned three of the four sides of the tower. It was the largest ad campaign and highest ad spot in the world at the time.
This huge tower hardly suffers from the wind. Even in the strongest winds, the top of the Eiffel Tower deflects by only 15 cm. Due to the height of the structure and gusty winds, the chances of accidents during the construction of the Eiffel Tower were very high, but in reality only one person was injured.
And it is not surprising that it is so strong, because the weight of the metal structure is 7, 300 tons (total weight is 10, 100 tons). Today, three towers could be erected from this metal at once.
Initially, the Eiffel Tower rose 300.65 meters above ground level. The height together with the new antenna is 324 meters. The tower was considered the tallest in the world for forty years.
In ten-degree frost, the Eiffel Tower is 17 centimeters shorter than in hot weather. This is explained by the compression of the metal as a result of the cold.
Suicides at the Eiffel Tower are fairly common. France has one of the highest suicide rates in the world: 17.5 suicides per 1000 people. Taking his own life with a 300-meter iron tower became the third most popular method of suicide in France after poisoning and hanging.
On February 4, 1912, the Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt jumped from the 60-meter height of the first level of the Eiffel Tower, wearing a parachute of his own design on his back. The parachute did not open, and the inventor crashed to death.
Although the tower itself has been released into the public domain, its lighting is copyrighted, with the result that any image of the illuminated Eiffel Tower can only be used with written permission from the Tower Service Company (SETE).
For 83 years of existence, the famous tower was sold at least two dozen times. In 1925, the swindler Viktor Lustig managed to sell the famous tower for scrap, and twice. He convinced two different people to help finance the dismantling of the tower as the city could no longer support it. Lustig even insisted on a bribe so the client could win the city's prestigious bidding competition. After he received the money, the crook disappeared, and after a few years he tried to repeat the same trick, but failed.
Under the first balcony, on all four sides of the parapet are engraved the names of 72 outstanding French scientists and engineers, as well as those who made a special contribution to the creation of Gustave Eiffel.
Small copies of the Eiffel Tower can be seen in many parts of the world: in Las Vegas in the USA, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province in China, Slobozia in Romania, Copenhagen in Denmark, Varna in Bulgaria, Aktau in Kazakhstan and other cities.