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Eiffel Tower

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149486.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:17 pm Reply with quote

If you take a Photo of the Eiffel Tower, it is copyrighted if taken at night, but not if taken during the day.


Q : A t’on le droit de publier des photos de la Tour Eiffel ?

R : Les vues de la Tour Eiffel de jour sont libres de droits. La publication de photos de la Tour Eiffel illuminée est soumise à autorisation et à versement de droits auprès de la Société Nouvelle d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.

149488.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:19 pm Reply with quote

Guy de Maupassant liked to eat lunch in the tower's restaurant because he hated the building so much it was the only place he could not see it.

149490.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:22 pm Reply with quote

One of the alternative ideas which lost out to the Eiffel Tower was a giant guillotine.

s: ibid

149497.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:45 pm Reply with quote

In 1891, a Paris baker climbed up to the top of the Eiffel Tower on stilts, in 1948 the oldest elephant in world was given a tour of the tower only managing to get to the first level.

In 1925, Czech born Victor Lustig sold the Tower to the highest bidder, pretending to be a city official and claiming in a meeting with scrap metal dealers that the maintenance of the tower was getting too much and that it was to be pulled down.

The embarrassed man who bought it never pressed charges.


149516.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:45 pm Reply with quote

Another alternative was proposed in 1881 by a French architect.

It was an absurd idea.

Namely a 1,000 foot tower with a bonfire and a 'system of mirrors' at the top to provide light throughout Paris.

At the top, there would be a room 'for invalids'.

The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies
Roland Barthes

If you want to look at it, look it up on Amazon and go to the "Read Inside" section.

149529.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:17 pm Reply with quote

There are no public toilets on the Eiffel Tower's upper level, and queuing for the lift down can take a couple of hours in peak season.

Source: own experience

149716.  Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:26 am Reply with quote

There's a thread in the "E series talk" all about Eiffel (I know 'cos I started it). Not very long, so I'll reproduce the main findings here.

Gaazy pointed out that:

Gaazy wrote:
a block comprising all the gold ever mined would fit beneath the tower.

and provided a photo (though when he took it is not made clear. Gaazy, care to enlighten?)

Most of the stuff on the thread was contained in my initial post:

The Eiffel Tower is quite interesting. Its construction was completed in 1889 and it was designed to act as the entrance archway for the International Exhibition in Paris, commemorating the centenary of the French revolution.

It was opened by the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Ironic, really, that a future monarch should open a structure to commemorate the French revolution :)

Initially Gustav Eiffel had a 20 year lease on the structure, after which it reverted to the ownership of the City Council of Paris. They had planned to tear the structure down (part of the original design brief was that the structure had to be easy to dismantle) in 1909. However, by this time it had proved useful as a radio transmitter, and so it was kept for this purpose.

When originally built, it was the tallest structure in the world at a height of 312.27m. It was surpassed as the tallest structure by the Chrysler Building in the US in the 30's. However, since that time the Eiffel tower has in fact gotten steadily taller. As refurbishments changed the upper floors, and the antenna on the top was changed, so has the height of the tower. In 1991 it had grown to 317.96m, in 1994 it was 318.70m, and it currently stands at a height of 324.00m.

As well as gaining height, it has also been on a crash diet recently. In the early 80's an ambitous programme of restoration was embarked upon. As part of this, 1,343 tons of "unnecessary materials" were removed from the structure.

At a total weight of 7,300 tons for the metal structure, the tower is, in fact, remarkably light for a structure of its size. If you surrounded the tower with a cylinder containing the base and reaching to the top, the tower would weigh no more than the air contained within the cylinder.

The number of stairs in the tower has also conspired to remain less than constant. Originally possessing 1,710 steps from the ground to the summit, after the renovations in the 80's there were 1,920 steps. Today there are a mere 1,665 steps, though it is no longer possible to walk all the way to the summit. You are required to finish the journey by lift now.

Apparently the top of the tower can move up to 8cm away from the sun due to heating of the side nearest the sun causing greater expansion than the side facing away from the sun.

Upon the Nazi occupation of Paris in the Second World War, the cables for the lifts were cut to force Hitler to have to climb the stairs if he wanted to visit the top of the tower. The parts to repair the lifts were allegedly impossible to procure "because of the war" yet, mysteriously, the lifts were working again within hours of the Nazis' departure from Paris.

In 1954 the tower was scaled by a mountaineer, in 1984 two Englishmen prachuted off it, and in 1923 a journalist apparently rode a bicycle down from the first level. This last, however, seems a bit suspect as reports can't seem to agree whether he rode down the stairs or down the slope of one of the tower's four legs.


149791.  Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:49 am Reply with quote

The Eiffel Tower bicycle was a 16 foot high bike which was generally used as advertising for the Humber Company who built it.

It was ridden by Coventry man Sam Brown, whose most impressive trick was probably steering the contraption with his teeth while lying on his stomach and pedalling with his hands

Molly Cule
153122.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:40 pm Reply with quote

Gustave Eiffel’s proposal was chosen unanimously from 700 other architect’s designs. However critics of the tower complained of its aesthetics and nicknamed the tower the ‘shame of Paris’.

A petition of 300 names including Maupassant, Zola, and Dumas the Younger protested its construction, they signed the “Protest against the Tower of Monsieur Eiffel” published in Le Temps, addressed to the World’s Fair’s director of works Monsieur Alphand. It began -"We come, we writers, painters, sculptors, architects, lovers of the beauty of Paris which was until now intact, to protest with all our strength and all our indignation, in the name of the underestimated taste of the French, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the erection in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower…”

Maupassant described "the tower as a high and skinny pyramid of iron ladders, this giant ungainly skeleton upon a base that looks built to carry a colossal monument of Cyclops, but which just peters out into a ridiculous thin shape like a factory chimney"


Molly Cule
153123.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:41 pm Reply with quote

The Eiffel Tower grows in summer.
On a hot day the iron expands so much that the Tower can rise by 17cm.

Molly Cule
153124.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:41 pm Reply with quote

During occupation the Germans hung a sign on the tower that read “Deutschland Siegt Auf Allen Fronten” (Germany is victorious on all fronts). S:

Molly Cule
153125.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:42 pm Reply with quote

70 Tons of brown paint are applied to the tower every seven years to stop it from rusting.


Molly Cule
153226.  Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:05 am Reply with quote

There are replicas of the Eiffel Tower in Tokyo (The Tokyo Tower), Blackpool (The Blackpool Tower), Shenzhen, China, Las Vegas and Prague.

Built in the 1950’s the Tokyo tower is 13 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower but is half the weight (4,000 tons v 7,000 tons due to advanced steel construction.) The first floor houses an aquarium and the third floor a wax museum.

Blackpool Tower, built in 1894 is 518 feet, just under half the Eiffel tower, which stands at 1053 feet. It is home to the largest indoor adventure park in Britain.

The Eiffel Tower in Schenzhen, China is a 108 metre tall replica. It stands in the Window of the World theme park, which is also home to “the grand canyon” and the “statue of liberty.”

In Paris, Las Vegas is a half size Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera House, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Hotel de Ville.

The one in Prague is small and up on a hill near a hall of mirrors.

153239.  Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:20 am Reply with quote

It is home to the largest indoor adventure park in Britain.

Jungle Jim's: what a great day out that was, every kid in the North West would go there for their birthday when they were too young to go to the pleasure beach. Blackpool tower also has the world's largest mirror-ball in its ballroom.

153248.  Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:09 am Reply with quote

Molly Cule wrote:
70 Tons of brown paint are applied to the tower every seven years to stop it from rusting.


Have we ever done the "painting the Forth Bridge" myth? If not, this could be a link into it.


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