THE IRON LADY OF FRANCE
The Eiffel Tower is the most emblematic monument of Paris standing tall over the city as if guarding her against invaders but she also has some remarkable tales..
Unbeknown to many the Eiffel tower was not designed specifically for France, in fact the Eiffel tower which was designed by engineer Maurice Koechlin an employee of Gustave Eiffel was originally intended as a centerpiece for the city of Barcelona in Spain but the Spanish rejected it deeming it an eyesore.
Luckily for Gustave, the city of Paris was looking for a monument to serve as the entrance to their 1889 World’s Fair which was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The designs for the Eiffel tower were picked and construction began on January 28, 1887. It took two years, two months and five days to build the tall iron structure which was inaugurated on March, 31st of 1889.
Just like today's modern glass pyramids of the Lourve which recently celebrated it's 30th anniversary, the Eiffel Tower was not loved by the French public with many calling it "useless and monstrous."
To ensure the landmark can be seen from all over Paris the Eiffel Tower is illuminated by 20,000 lights which bring the monument to life for 5 minutes every hour on the hour once the Tower has been lit up from sunset until 1 am consuming 7.8 million kWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of a small village,
Amazingly the structure was only supposed to remain in place for 20 years, knowing this legendary con artist Victor Lustig convinced two separate investors to buy the Eiffel Tower from him during the 1920's, he claimed the tower was being sold off for scrap metal and claimed a $70,000 bribe from his first victim but was later caught when he became greedy and tried the con again a month later.
If Victor Lustig was to try that same con today the Eiffel Tower would be valued at 400 billion euros. This is six times more than the Colosseum in Rome which is worth 91 billion euros, and more than the Tower of London which is worth just 70 billion euros, I bet Spain wish they hadn't rejected those plans!