And now for our favorite segment: Did you know?
Did You Know: The Eiffel Tower
It’s everybody’s favorite landmark – come to Paris, see the Eiffel Tower! Around 6 million people visit the tower each year. Despite its status as a world-famous icon, however, there’s a lot that’s not widely known about the Tower’s history.
Here are 5 Facts of the Iron Lady we betcha didn’t know:
1. Construction took only 2 years.
It took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build, with construction starting 1887.
2. Bienvenue British Royalty and Buffalo Bill!
The very first people to visit the Eiffel Tower were the British royal family and the famous American showman ‘Buffalo Bill’.
3. It’s not going to turn green anytime soon.
Yes, the Statue of Liberty is green and in all likelihood the Eiffel Tower would be as well–if not for the regular recoating of paint. The Tower is repainted every seven years with around 66 tons of paint! Throughout the years, it’s been red-brown, yellow-ochre, chestnut brown… thankfully, all natural colors.
4. Parisians hated it – at first.
Well, many Parisians hated it. Around 300 locals signed a petition, calling the Tower “useless and monstrous,” a “stupefying folly,” an “odious column of bolted metal.” We’re sure glad they didn’t get their way!
5. Eiffel built a secret apartment for himself.
Yes, it’s on the third level of the tower, a whopping 1,000 feet up. He used to host people like Thomas Edison and show off his grand piano. Nowadays you can still take a tour of it – considering you’re not put-off by the life-size mannequins of Eiffel and his guests.
6. It was “sold”–twice.
In the 1920s, legendary con artist Victor Lustig convinced two separate investors to buy the Eiffel Tower from him. He garnered no less than $70,000 from one of these schemes!
7. It was married.
Erika LaBrie is an American woman who married the Eiffel Tower in a much-publicized ceremony in 2007, and changed her name is Erika Eiffel. Feeling an emotional connection to an inanimate object–why not–it’s the City of Love, after all! Apparently, she also had a longterm relationship with the Berlin Wall, although it’s unknown if these two romances conflicted.
To check out the Eiffel Tower for yourself — who knows, you might fall in love yourself! — call Willamette Intl Travel. We organize unforgettable and delightful trips all over the world.