The Eiffel Tower has become the worldwide symbol for France. It was designed by Émile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre, employees of Eiffel & Co.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, initially reticent about the project, later became a great supporter and bought the patent. Built in just two years, 1887-1889 (2 years, 2 months and 5 days), it serves as the entrance arch to the 1889 Universal Exposition, a world fair that celebrated the centenary of the French Revolution.
At first, Eiffel received permission to keep the monument as it is for 20 years, but given that it offered a number of benefits in communications, its dismounting was given up, becoming one of the main tourist destinations of Paris and the world.
The Eiffel family was from Germany and originally called Bönickhause, but the French were unable to pronounce it. Gustave officially changed his name in 1880, nine years before the inauguration of the tower.
On 12 January 1908, a long-distance radio message was first sent from the tower.
In 1910, Theodor Wulf decided to carry out some radiation measurements at the top of the tower and at its base, discovering that at the top there were more than expected. In this way, cosmic rays were discovered.
In 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig, “sold” the Eiffel Tower twice as scrap metal.
In 1930, the tower lost the title that it held for 41 years as the tallest structure in the world, when Chrysler Building was completed in New York.
When Adolf Hitler visited Paris during the Second World War, the French disabled the elevators, so he would have to climb 1,665 steps to reach the peak. The French said that because of the war, it was impossible to find the spare part, but a few hours after the Nazi left, the elevators were again functioning normally.
On January 3, 1956, a fire damaged the top of the tower.
In the eighties, an old restaurant located halfway up the tower was dismantled with all the structure that supported it. This restaurant was purchased and rebuilt in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the ” Eiffel Tour Restaurant” and recently ” The Red Room “.
From 24 June 1964, the Eiffel Tower is registered as a historical monument and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, along with other Parisian monuments.
Since 2000, the tower has 352 lights that shine every hour during the night (from 10:00 PM to 01:00 AM for 10 minutes). This lights network was made to celebrate the turn of the millennium and it remained in operation. The lights are normally white-yellow, but can change color depending on the events and various commemorations.
The tower received its 200 million visitor on 28 November 2002.
In 2005, on the first floor, an ice rink has been installed. It measures 190 square meters and skates can be rented directly from there.
France marked the beginning of its term in the EU presidency in 2008, by illuminating the Eiffel Tower in blue, with twelve golden stars as a symbol of the Union.
Every seven years, the tower is painted with 50 tons of paint to prevent corrosion, so it has changed color on numerous occasions. The visitors are the ones who decide the new color, voting on the first floor how they want the tower to be painted.
During the summer, the tower is 18 centimeters higher than in winter due to thermal expansion of the metal.
With all this information, after you take a walk on Champs de Mars, remember to visit the Eiffel Tower, perhaps even eating at one of its restaurants, enjoying one of the biggest attractions of Paris.