The Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel in French) is one of the most popular monuments in France. In fact, according to research and records, it is the most visited attraction in Paris and the most visited paid-for monument in the world. It welcomes almost seven million visitors per year.
Did you know the Eiffel Tower was not initially built to last forever? It was built in 1889 during the Paris Exposition as an entrance arch. The initial plan was to later demolish it in 1909,but when it became useful as a giant radio antenna, its purpose was redirected.
The tower played a part in the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne, in 1914. One of its transmitters jammed German radio communications, hindering their advance.
Did you also know that Eiffel Tower was named after Gustave Eiffel, the engineer and architect behind the tower? Its construction took about 300 workers two years, two months and five days to complete.
The tower has lifts built in it to take visitors to the top of the tower. This would cost you just €19. And if you are strong enough to use the steps and use your cash to buy an energy drink, that will be nice. Mind you, there are 1,665 steps. So, many people just prefer to take the lift instead.
La Tour Eiffel was originally intended for Barcelona, Spain but the project was rejected. I wonder what would have been used as the major landmark for Paris, maybe the statue of liberty, bearing in mind that some interior elements of the statue of liberty were also designed by Gustave Eiffel! Now you know.
Did you know that Eiffel Tower has a wife? As funny as it sounds, The Tower has a wife. In 2007/2008, a woman named Erika married herself off to Eiffel Tower and changed her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel in honor of her 'partner'. Now who wouldn't want to have a famous husband!
Did you know that during cold weather, the tower shrinks about 6 inches? That's amazing!!
There are 20,000 lightbulbs used on the Eiffel Tower to make it sparkle every night. This makes the night view so amazing and very pleasant.
There are over 30 replicas of the Eiffel Tower around the world.
Did you also know that Adolf Hitler was born in 1889, the same year that the Eiffel Tower was completed? During the World War II, when Hitler visited Paris, the French cut the lift wires on the Eiffel Tower so that he would have to climb the steps if he wanted to reach the top. You remember the steps are 1,665. Right? He chose to just stay on the ground.
During the years of the war, the site remained closed to the public, and the elevators were repaired only in 1946. In 1940, the German soldiers had to climb the tower to hoist the swastika flag; the flag was so large that it was blown away just a couple of hours later and needed to be replaced with a smaller one.
The Tricolour remained lowered until 25 June 1944, when the Germans had been driven out of the capital.
What monument in Nigeria can be compared to this structure and holds such economical and cultural value to us as a people? Can you propose one?
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