10 Things I Learned About the Eiffel Tower When I Photographed It

10 Things I Learned About the Eiffel Tower When I Photographed It

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the easiest landmarks in the world to recognise but, surprisingly, the majority of people know very little about it, which is why I thought I’d share with you ten exciting facts I learned when I travelled to France and photographed this beautiful structure myself.

1. The tower was originally constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World Fair, which took place in France to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

2. In 1887, more than three hundred Parisians angrily petitioned against the Eiffel Tower’s construction, calling it “monstrous” and akin to a “giant black factory chimney”. Thankfully, their objections didn’t hold any sway, and the Eiffel Tower went on to become one of the world’s most beloved monuments.

3. When the Eiffel Tower opened on 31st March, it was the tallest structure in the world, reaching an impressive 986 feet! It held this record for 40 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York opened in 1930.

4. The firm which designed the tower, Eiffel et Compagnie, was owned by a man named Gustave Eiffel, who also helped design the Statue of Liberty in New York.

5. The Eiffel Tower was designed to never sway more than 4.5 inches, even in the strongest of winds, and it’s capable of adapting with the seasons by “growing” and “shrinking” with thermal expansion!

6. Every seven years, the tower gets a brand new coat of “Eiffel Tower Brown” paint – a feat which requires around sixty tons of paint and around eighteen months of hard labour.

7. At one point, the French Government wanted to dismantle the tower to use its scrap metal, but when Gustave Eiffel added an antennae to the top of the structure and essentially made the monument into a giant broadcasting tower, they quickly realised the Eiffel Tower was more valuable exactly how it was!

8. The Eiffel Tower is copyrighted by night, which means nobody can take any commercial photographs of its stunning lighting show without first paying a royalty.

9. Between 1925 and 1936, the Eiffel Tower was used as a gigantic billboard by the French motor company, Citroen, who used thousands upon thousands of bright bulbs to spell their name out down three sides of the tower.

10. The Eiffel Tower has a half-sized American twin at Paris Las Vegas, which also conducts a nightly light show inspired by the French tower’s illuminations.

Did you already know any of this interesting trivia, perhaps from your own visit to the Eiffel Tower? Or was this all news to you? It certainly was to me before my trip!

Until next time - Stephen
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