The Eiffel Tower
This Parisian landmark named after its engineer designer, Gustave Eiffel, is one of the most recognised structures in the world and is the tallest structure in France, and with 200,000,000 having visited the Eiffel Tower since its construction, this monument is the most visited paid monument per year.
Constructed between 1887 and 1889, including the 24m antenna, the Eiffel Tower is 324m high and weighs 7,300 tons, which made it the world's tallest structure until 1930 when it was beaten by New York City's Chrysler Building.
The tower can sway 6 to 7cm in the wind and due to the thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun, depending upon the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18cm.
The Eiffel Tower in France is re-painted every 7 years and it takes around 6 tons of paint to complete it, just to stop this monument from rusting.
There are three levels in all. At the south towers base a ticket booth sells tickets to use the stairs, which begin at that location and the first and second levels are accessible by both stairs and lifts. But the third level summit is only accessible by lift. On the first platform, the stairs continue up from the east tower.
Taking the steps is not for the feint hearted, as the actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base of the Eiffel Tower, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level, and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level. And when exiting the lift at the third level, there are another 15 more steps to ascend to the upper observation platform. Whether you think this a good idea or not, the actual step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give you an indication of your progress!!! But for the majority of the climb, it does allow you an unhindered view of the area directly beneath and around the tower bar a few brief times when the stairway is enclosed.
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower was to be demolished in 20 years after construction? It was due to the fact the Gustave Eiffel was only given a permit for the Eiffel Tower to stand for 20 years before it passed to the city ready for its destruction, but because it became valuable as a communications resource, it was allowed to remain in place even after the permit had expired.