by Harry Nelson in Travel

Published on: May 25, 2020

Eiffel Tower

10 things you might not know about the

To to start

It may be an icon of Paris,
but the history of the
Eiffel Tower is far from

It’s been called everything from ridiculous to record-breaking, and has been the home of secret apartments and tragic accidents.

These ten amazing facts about the Eiffel Tower will shed a little light on the icon’s secret history.

1. It was controversial

Contemporary critics initially described the design as “monstrous”, “useless”, “ridiculous” and a "hateful column of bolted sheet metal” and a petition was launched to try and stop its construction.

Some architects even thought it was physically impossible to build a structure of such a height.

2. It was originally designed as an entrance

Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, the tower was originally a monumental gateway like the Arc de Triomphe, as well as a showpiece for new revolutionary iron-lattice architecture.

It has since found a place in Parisian hearts - as well as proving useful as a communication tower - and has so far lasted 111 years beyond its scheduled dismantling date.

3. It is painted different colors

The Eiffel Tower is painted in three different shades of brown, with the darkest shade on the top and the lightest on the bottom.

The shading is meant to counteract atmospheric haze, and make the structure appear one uniform colour from top to bottom. In previous lives, the tower was once painted bright red and yellow.

4. It shrinks in winter

Cold weather causes the metal of the tower to shrink, while heat makes it expand. The difference in the height of Eiffel Tower can be up to 15 centimeters.

And yes, the top of the Tower can sway in the wind too.