5 Amazing Facts About the Eiffel Tower That You Don’t Know
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, is not just a towering symbol of Paris but a masterpiece of engineering and history. While many people are familiar with its impressive appearance, there are several intriguing facts about this celebrated structure that often go unnoticed. In this article, we explore five amazing facts about the Eiffel Tower that you may not be aware of.
1.Temporary Structure Turned Permanent Landmark
Gustave Eiffel’s creation, the Eiffel Tower, was originally built as the centerpiece for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world’s fair held in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It was intended to be a temporary structure, standing for just 20 years. However, its significance and the tower’s role in advancing wireless telegraphy ensured its survival. It was used as a radio transmission tower, and its iconic silhouette was preserved. Today, it stands as a permanent symbol of France and a testament to engineering and architectural innovation.
2. A “Sunbather” That Shrinks and Expands
The Eiffel Tower isn’t just a rigid structure; it’s also a “sunbather.” Its iron framework expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations. When exposed to the sun, the iron heats up, causing it to expand. During the night, it cools down and contracts, which results in the tower shrinking by up to 6 inches. This regular expansion and contraction can cause the tower to sway slightly, making it a dynamic and living structure.
3. Magnet for Lightning
Due to its height and iron composition, the Eiffel Tower is a lightning magnet. It gets struck by lightning about 10 to 15 times per year on average. Fortunately, the tower is equipped with a state-of-the-art lightning protection system that safely channels the electrical charge to the ground, protecting both the structure and those inside it.
4. Eiffel Tower’s Secret Apartment
Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, had a small apartment located on the top floor of the tower. It was intended to serve as a private retreat where he could entertain friends and dignitaries. This unique space was kept secret for many years and was accessible only by a private elevator. Today, it has been transformed into a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into Eiffel’s life and the tower’s history.
5. Ever-Changing Paint Job
The Eiffel Tower isn’t just one color. Over the years, it has been painted in various shades, from red-brown to yellow-ochre. Today, it is painted in a special shade known as “Eiffel Tower Brown,” which consists of three different shades to create an illusion of uniform color, as the tower appears lighter at the top and darker near the base. This painting process is ongoing, with a team of painters continuously touching up and refreshing the tower’s appearance.
The Eiffel Tower, with its rich history, engineering marvel, and countless fascinating stories, continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide. These lesser-known facts only add to the allure of this iconic structure, making it more than just a tourist attraction but a symbol of innovation and timeless beauty. The next time you visit the Eiffel Tower, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for its unique characteristics and intriguing history.