Eiffel Tower

Finally the day has arrived – on the hubby’s birthday – that we’re heading up the grand ole dame herself – the Eiffel Tower!

We’re going right to the top with the vertigo inducing lift! We booked online prior to travelling and, as it was a French holiday, thank goodness we did!

We skipped the huge queue outside the tower itself only to be stuck in the queue for the lift for around 1.5 hours! But still much quicker than chancing it on the day.

The digging started on the 28th January 1887. On the 31st March 1889, the Tower had been finished in record time – 2 years, 2 months and 5 days !!

Between 150 and 300 workers worked on the construction site, 2,500,000 rivets were used along with 7,300 tonnes of iron and 60 tonnes of paint!

The end result is the iconic tower that is recognisable the world over and offers stunning views over Paris to the distant horizons.

The tower casts a long shadow over the River Seine and is slightly dizzying!

The tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution.

Today it welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year making it the most visited monument that you have to pay for in the world.

Sparkly Tower

After messing about by the river for a while we’re ready to check out Paris by night!

The Eiffel Tower gets event prettier by night – it sparkles!!!!

Every evening, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour, while a beaming shaft of light emits from the top.

It is also lit by more than 300 spotlights arranged along its girders giving the tower a gold sheen as soon as night falls.

20,000 bulbs twinkle and light up the tower in a spectacular choreography every hour.

The installation was designed to commemorate the new year in 2000 but has since been made permanent.

In June 2007 the 336 light bulbs were replaced with duplicates.

There is also a beacon from the top of the tower that sends out two light beams with a reach of 80 kilometres.

Pretty huh? Apparently however taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night is technically illegal as the light show is still under copyright to the original artist.

But as long as you’re not selling the images to make money then you’re ok . . I think!

Landmark tower

It might be a grey day but it’s our first look at the iconic Parisian landmark that is the Eiffel Tower!

The original plan to build a tower 300 metres high was developed as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889.

The idea was to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars with a square base, 125 metres across and 300 metres tall”.

It was Gustave Eiffel, an entrepreneur, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, both engineers, and Stephen Sauvestre, an architect, whose plans were accepted.

Theirs was one of 107 projects put forward so this iconic landmark could have looked very different.

The construction work began in January 1887 and was finished on March 31, 1889. Only taking just over two years to complete.

Lots more to come from this lovely landmark.