Search This Blog


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday Victorian: 125th Anniversary of the Eiffel Tower

I spent a lot of time researching the 1889 Parisian Exposition for my Victorian Menage series. Some of my favorite research was on Eiffel's Tower. People hated it, it was only supposed to last 20 years, but of course some loved it and nearly everyone wanted to climb it. It's now a national icon.

Technically Eiffel's Tower turned 125 on March 31, 1889 , but it didn't open to the public until May 6, 1889. Most people made the ascent via steps, as even on the grand opening the lifts weren't completed. Didn't stop people, everyone wanted to see Paris from the top of the tower: 1,896,987 visitors from May 6 until the fair closed on October 31, 1889.

10 things you didn't know about the Eiffel Tower on its 125th birthday:

1. Strange but true: In a commitment ceremony in 2007, an American woman ‘married’ the Eiffel Tower. Erika La Tour Eiffel (she changed her name) suffers from ‘Objectum-Sexual’ a condition in which people fall in love with inanimate objects.

2. Aging requires no small amount of cosmetic touch-ups: every seven years, the Iron Lady undergoes a paint job that requires up to 60 tons of paint to protect her from rust.

3. The Eiffel Tower will shrink and grow by up to 15 cm (6 inches) with the fluctuating temperatures.

4. Every year, the combined distance traveled by the elevator lifts works out to be about 103,000 km a year -- or 2.5 times the circumference of the Earth.

5. Did you know: technically it’s illegal to publish photos of the illuminated tower at night. Permission and rights must be obtained from the "Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.”

6. The tower is open every day. In a country that shuts down every Sunday, the tower is perhaps the only thing open 365 days a year including Christmas.

7. After the French, Italians, Spaniards and Americans make up the biggest visitors to the Eiffel Tower.

8. The tower has its own YouTube channel at

9. Eiffel paid homage to the great French men of science by engraving the names of 72 scientists, engineers and mathematicians on the four sides of the tower.

10. The nightly five-minute light show, which begins on the hour every hour from nightfall until 1 am, requires 20,000 light bulbs.

Pictures from Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment