This month the Eiffel Tower celebrates its 130th birthday! While that may seem young next to the
other monuments of Paris, I think we can all agree that 130 years is quite an achievement. So to
wish joyeux anniversaire, I thought we could rendez-vous at the Eiffel Tower this week to share a
bit more about its history!
Eiffel takes its name from the visionary French architect, Gustave Eiffel, who designed and
oversaw the construction of the tower, which began in 1887. It was originally built as the pièce de
résistance for the World’s Fair in the French capital in 1889, at the height of La Belle Époque.
While it was only meant to remain for several years, it never left and has since become perhaps
the most famous monument in the entire world. Despite the original plans to take it down, and the
initial critique from many, she persevered and is now a beloved sight for Parisians and visitors
alike to behold, for me most of all each night when she sparkles!
130 years old is quite old, but the Iron Lady has aged well and proved to be timeless as a symbol of
wanderlust to people across the world. While we all know what she looks like, if you want to go
beyond the surface here are ten interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower to celebrate 130 years!
• The Eiffel Tower has been repainted a total of 19 times, and each time is takes 60 tonnes of
paint to cover the monument.
• At the time of its “birth”, the Eiffel Tower was actually red. The color was chosen as an attempt
to combat rust. It was eventually painted ochre, then yellow, and even ombre before they
landed on the color it is today, light brown.
• The Eiffel Tower shrinks by approximately six inches in cold weather as the kinetic energy in the
massive amount of iron used to construct the tower contracts.
• At the time of it’s conception and construction, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the
world, measuring over more than 300 meters tall. Including the antenna at the top is measures
324 meters in height.
• Engraved on the side of the Eiffel Tower are the names of 72 engineers, scientists, and
mathematicians that helped realize this extraordinary architectural feat.
• The Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour after sunset, on the hour for five minutes. There are over
20,000 light bulbs on the tower that make this possible.
• The tower is made up of 18,000 metallic parts held together by 2.5 million rivets.
• The annual distance covered by the elevators bringing passengers to the top of the tower and
back down is more than two times the circumference of the earth.
• More than 7 million people visit the tower each year, and over 250 million have visited since it
• If you would like to climb to the top, you can take the stairs, but be warned…there are 1665
steps to the top!