There's a reason this famous landmark is synonymous with Paris: It's tall, chic, and rich in history. But you might be surprised to find out that some Parisians weren't always so keen on this monument, because they thought it obstructed the city's skyline (now, most would argue it makes it!). Here are more fun facts about this iconic tower:
1. It was built in 1889 to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
And was part of the Paris Exposition (AKA the World's Fair). More than 100 artists submitted designs, but the Eiffel et Compagnie architecture firm won.
2. But the owner (Gustave Eiffel) didn't actually design the tower.
It was one of his structural engineers, Maurice Koechlin, who came up with the concept — although he doesn't clearly often receive credit where credit's due. (Should have locked in those naming rights, buddy.)
3. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the lattice tower.
The final design called for 18,000 pieces of puddle iron and an incredible 2.5 million rivets. Admittedly, that sounds a lot more difficult than the 3-D Eiffel tower puzzle we had as kids.
4. The plan was to tear it down after 20 years.
Quelle horreur! But yep, it wasn't supposed to be permanent. However city officials kept it since it was a valuable radiotelegraph station. Not because it was a beautiful, iconic landmark or anything.
5. It played an important role in World War I.
By intercepting many enemy radio communications. Later during WWII, it was almost demolished when Hitler ordered it to be destroyed, but that acting general refused to obey.
6. It used to be the tallest building in the world.
For 41 years it was reigning champ at 1,050 feet tall, but the Chrysler Building in New York City surpassed it in 1930.
7. There are more than 40 replicas around the world.
Including a half scale version in Las Vegas, Nevada and a full scale in Tokyo, Japan. Fittingly, the one in Paris, Texas has a cowboy hat on top.
8. It shrinks when it's cold outside.
About six inches in total! It also sways two to three inches in the wind.
9. Almost 250 million people have visited it since it opened.
And approximately seven million per year, making it the most visited monument in the world. Each visitor can choose between taking the 1,665 steps to the top or using the elevator.
10. It gets a fresh coat of paint every seven years.
Which is no easy feat: It requires 60 tons of paint, 1,500 brushes, and a team of 25 painters.
11. There's an apartment on the third floor.
It was originally created for Gustave Eiffel as private quarters for entertaining, but now the public can view it when they visit.
12. It takes 20,000 lightbulbs to make the tower sparkle every night.
And it takes 43 technicians to change them (woof). That explains why the bulbs are only changed to different colors on very special occasions.