6 Surprising Facts About the Eiffel Tower

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4. One of the First Parachutes Was Tested Off the Eiffel Tower

In 1912, Franz Reichelt, who was a tailor from Vienna, invented a suit that he believed could be used by aviators as a wearable parachute. After a lot of negotiation, he succeeded in getting permission to test his prototype by using it to jump off the Eiffel Tower. On a cold, windy day in February, he climbed up to the second level, and cheerily waved to his friends and said “À bientôt” before jumping off. The suit only deployed halfway, and Reichert was rushed to the Necker hospital before being pronounced dead.

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    5. Gustave Eiffel Built Himself a Room at the Top of the Tower

    Gustave Eiffel was the original architect and designer of the Eiffel Tower. During the design process, he built himself a room at the very top of the tower, 57 meters above the ground. He intended to use it as a place to carry out meteorological observations. Now, Gustave Eiffel’s apartment is the ideal place to get a 360 degree panorama view of Paris. There is a small exhibition, which features replicas of Eiffel’s original office, giving visitors an insight into his everyday life. The Eiffel apartment can also be rented as an event or meeting venue.

    it-was-only-intended-to-stand-for-20-yearsProduction Perig / Shutterstock

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    6. It Was Only Intended to Stand for 20 Years

    When construction on the tower was finished in 1889, the plan was for it to revert to city ownership in 20 years’ time. Even before they came into possession of the tower, the city of Paris planned to tear it down — they even wrote into the construction agreement that it should be easy to demolish. However, once the government started using the tower as a wireless transmitter, it was determined that it was too valuable to tear down, and was kept intact. Now, the French government makes millions of dollars off Eiffel Tower tourism per year.

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