Secrets of the Eiffel Tower Continued

 

This blog article is a continuation from last weeks blog.  There are several facts about the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, that many people do not know.

The Eiffel tower was slated to be destroyed.

After the World Fair of 1889, it was the intent of the Paris government to disassemble the Eiffel tower for scrap metal.  Because it’s architect and designer, Gustave Eiffel, paid for 80% of the tower’s construction cost he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in an effort to recoup some of the money he spent building the tower.  In one strategic move to save the tower, Eiffel put an antenna on the Tower’s pinnacle and paid for experiments that would test the boundaries of wireless signals. The tower was proven to be invaluable and that it could send and receive wireless messages, which became particularly valuable to the French military in WWI. Today there are over 110 antennas located at the top of the tower broadcasting radio and television signals around the world.

The Eiffel tower was not always a worldwide symbol of romance.

During the construction of the Eiffel Tower Paris, many artists signed a petition against building the tower calling it monstrous and outrageous. There were about 300 prominent artists and intellectuals who signed the petition.  The petition failed to sway the opinion the city leaders and construction of the Tower continued.

Daredevils have died at the tower.

Because of the Tower’s heights and notoriety, many thrill seekers have used the tower to perform stunts and dramatic feats.  Some of the more common stunts used parachutes, bungee cords, and thin wire to walk across. Two of the more notable deaths that occurred at the tower involved French tailor, inventor, and parachuting pioneer Franz Reichelt and pilot Leon Collot.  Reichelt jumped from the first floor of the Tower using a parachute suit he designed that was spring-loaded. Reichelt wanted to design a parachute suit pilots could wear if they needed to exit their plane while in flight.  Reichelt conducted experiments from his 5th-floor apartment using dummies, which was successful.  Unfortunately, Reichelt fell to his death, 187 feet below, when his parachute-suit experiment did not expand sufficiently. On February 28, 1926, Leon Collot, the second notable Tower death, died trying to fly his plane beneath the span of the tower.  Collot made a bet that he could fly his plane under the span of the Eiffel Tower, which he did successfully.  It was not until Collot attempted to elevate his plane that it became caught in Ariel wire.  The plane fell into some trees below and Collot burned to death when the plane caught fire.

The Eiffel tower was used to capture Mata Hari.

The French military used the wireless signals beaming from the Tower’s antennas during World War I to intercept enemy messages. The French learned that the German army was planning an attack at the battle of the Marne.  This intelligence allowed the French military to plan a counterattack tipping the balance of power in during the war.  Three years later, another message would be intercepted between Germany and Spain providing details about a German spy named Mata Hari.  She was eventually arrested and convicted of spying on behalf of Germany.  She was executed by firing squad.

There is a scientific laboratory in the Eiffel Tower.

When Eiffel designed and built the Eiffel Tower, he installed a laboratory that would be used to conduct scientific experiments in the areas of astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics, and physiology. Eiffel, along with other French scientists, would use this lab to learn more about the physical world.  In 1909, an arrow dynamic wind tunnel was installed by Eiffel at the base of the tower and tens of thousands of experiments were carried out. Among some of the more notable people to use this win tunnel, included the Wright brothers and Porsche automobiles.

 

Secrets of the Eiffel Tower

Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel built one of the most recognizable structures in Paris, France for the 1889 world fair. The structure was originally supposed to be temporary and consisted of 18,000 iron pieces, 1,710 steps, and has an unfurled French tricolor flag flying from us pinnacle.  Many people have experienced the Eiffel Tower from a distance, either through television, movies, or even photographs, but few have actually gotten up close to see the structure for themselves. There 10 things you may not know about the Eiffel tower that could make for good dinner conversation the next time you meet up with friends and family.

The Eiffel Tower used to be yellow.  

The Eiffel tower is also known as “Lady Iron” and has changed her look throughout the decades. When the lady iron was first built in 1889, the structure was a reddish brown color. About 10 years later, the Eiffel Tower was painted again, but this time yellow. In 1968, lady iron adopted the yellow-brown and chestnut brown colors it currently has.  Every seven years the Eiffel tower gets a touch-up consisting of 60 tons of new paint to keep it looking new and fresh. The tower is painted in progressively lighter shades with darker shades at the bottom and lighter shades closer to the pinnacle.

The Eiffel Tower was built to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution.

The world fair of 1889 was held in Paris France in order to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the battle of Bastille, which launched the French revolution. Organizers held an open competition inviting architects of multiple disciplines to submit proposals that would be displayed as a spectacular centerpiece. Mr. Eiffel was just one out of 17 architects to submit proposals.

The Eiffel Tower was the worlds tallest structure for 40 years.

Prior to the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the worlds tallest building was the Washington Monument, which stands at 555 feet. The Eiffel Tower surpassed that height and remained the worlds tallest building for decades. It was not until 1930 when the Chrysler building in New York was built at a height of 1046 feet that Lady Iron lost her title.  Eventually the Eiffel tower eclipsed the Chrysler building in height when they added an antenna in 1957.  Despite the Iron Lady’s attempt to regain her title as the worlds tallest structure, the Empire State building in New York City, New York would be the worlds tallest building.

The Eiffel Tower was once the worlds largest billboard.

From 1925 to 1936, the French automobile company Citroen, used 250,000 colored light bulbs attached the three sides of the tower steeple to spell the company‘s name in 100 foot vertical letters. The advertisement was so bright that you could see it from nearly 20 miles away. As a matter fact, Charles Lindbergh use the Tower’s illuminated letters to guide him when he landed in Paris in 1927 after completing a solo transatlantic flight.

Mr. Eiffel played a part in designing the Statue of Liberty.

In 1879, the original designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements suddenly died. French sculptor, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdihired, hired Mr. Eiffel to continue the work. Because Eiffel had already garnered notoriety for building the Iron Lady, he was asked to design the skeletal support system over which the copper skin of the Statue of Liberty would be laid.  In Paris, France, there is a smaller model of the Statue of Liberty located on the island in the River Seine, just beyond the Eiffel Tower.

Check back next week for a continuation of this article with additional secrets of the Eiffel Tower.

 

5 things you can strike off your bucket list in Paris

Paris. The one place where everyone wants to go; at least that’s what my buddy at Springdale Towing Service tells me. However, there are so many things that you might have on your bucket list that you want to see in Paris, that it might be hard to decide which one might be first. These are the top five things that you can strike off your bucket list, that you can find in Paris. These are things that you can’t miss out on:

Notre-Dame Cathedral

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the places in Paris that are popular and that everyone has on their bucket list. This is a great place where you can see historical features and where you can enjoy a day with other tourists.

Construction to this cathedral started in the 10 century and it was completed 200 years later.  Now this is one of the most popular tourists attractions in Paris that you just need to see. This is a place that you will not ever forget again.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower. The number one tourist attraction in Paris. And one of the first things that you should mark off your bucket list of things to do in Paris.

You will not miss this tower, and you need to make sure that you are taking enough photos while you are up there. This is a view that you will not forget and that you want to catch on photos and videos for sure.

Pere-Lachaise Cemetery

Who really wants to visit a cemetery during a holiday and want to add this to their bucket list of things that they need to see in Paris?

However, this isn’t a normal cemetery and you will not regret going there. This is the number three top thing that you need to see when you are in Paris. It is interesting and gives you a sense of the people that have lived in Paris years ago.

Luxembourg Gardens

Even, if there is such a large amount of buildings that you need to see in Paris, you should not forget about the Luxembourg gardens. This is something that you also should make time for.

This is a great place to have a romantic picnic or to just sit and enjoy the flowers and other plants that are making this such a great park. Many people don’t see this as important, but if you love the outdoors, this is a place that you should see for sure.

Versailles Palace

Not many people are familiar with the Versailles Palace that is situated in Paris, but if you love amazing things, this is something that you need to see. It gives you an idea about how royalty have lived years ago.

Paris, the place of love and historical buildings. There is just something about Paris that you will not find anywhere else in the world. And, if you want to visit this place sometimes, these five things should be on your bucket list. This is the only way that you can make sure that you are visiting all the important and popular tourist attractions in Paris.