Eiffel Tower (3)

As a last post on the Eiffel Tower, maybe some more technical pictures and data?

Using the stairs (between level 0 and 2) allows you to see some details of the structure of the Tower. The top picture refers to the painting of the Tower. It has been painted 17 times since it was constructed for the Universal Exhibition in 1889, in average every seven years. As we can see, the colours have changed six or seven times (red-brown, yellow-ochre, chestnut brown...) Today the colour is described as bronze. A new painting procedure is supposed to start by the end of 2008. It will involve some 60 tons of paint and will normally take a year and a half for some 25 painters.

You may know that there were severe protests against the building of the Tower (by those days’ newspapers described as a “tragic street lamp", a "belfry skeleton", a "high and skinny pyramid of iron ladders", an "odious column of bolted metal", a "half built factory pipe"...) - housing costs nearby declined. It was supposed to last for 20 years. It was somehow saved by the need of technical equipment (telegraph, radio...). Today, the top of the Tower is very technical.

Remarkable for the time was that the Tour was already from the beginning – 1889 – equipped with lifts. They have been replaced since, but some of the machinery (designed by Eiffel) dates from 1899 (modernised, computerised since). The lifts make more than 100 000 km (65 000 miles) per year, for the pleasure of the 6 or 7 million / year visitors. The hydraulic pump you can see here, which supplied water to the machinery of the lifts between the second and third level, was dismantled in 1983 - today exposed on level one.

The Tour moves a little bit, but very little. During the strongest storm ever registered in Paris (1999), the movement was 13 cm (5 inches) – it is built to support three times more. During very hot summer days, there can be a difference of 18 cm (7 inches) between the sunny and the shadowy side of the Tower.

Maybe some more data:

Height: Originally 300 m (984 ft), 312 m (1024 ft) with flag on the top, today (with about 120 antennas), 324 m (1063 ft). Highest building in the world until 1929 (Chrysler Building, then 319 m = 1047 ft).
Weight: 10 100 tons, whereof iron, 7 300 tons. (Actually totally quite light – the pressure on the ground is not higher than for a normal building of those days.)
Lights (the temporary blue lights excluded): 336 projectors of 600 watts, plus, for the recent blinking lights - see below, some 20 000 bulbs.
Time of construction: 2 years, 2 months, 5 days.
Number of pieces: 18 000, assembled with 2 500 000 rivets.

There are several restaurants and bars. The top chef Alain Ducasse has since the end of 2007 taken over the management of the gourmet restaurant “Jule Vernes” on the second floor (menus 75 – 190 €). Unfortunately, the Champagne Bar on the third floor was closed the day I was there.

The Tower is now also blinking during the evening hours, every hour and for a couple of minutes. I took this photo from Montmartre, January 1, 2008 at 0 hours and in my previous post you can see the Tower blue - and blinking (thanks to Pink Ginger).


Virginia said...

I am fascinated by your photos of the "innards" of la tour. When last I visited I had an idea that I would photograph small portions of the ironwork. Much of it looks very much like lace. Unfortunately my camera ( a point and shoot) and the weather (pouring rain-surprise!) made for very grainy close ups. Maybe I can do better this visit. Your Jan.1 photo from Montmartre is absolutely spectacular. The black dome like structure in the foreground makes it more so.
PS Champagne Bar closed? Mon Dieu!

Cuckoo said...

I had gone there in January. Absolutely chilly weather.

I liked the last photo the most.

SusuPetal said...

A dreadful job to paint that monument! Respect for the ones who'll do it.

Olivier said...

la dernière photo est un bel au revoir à miss Eiffel.
Impressionnant tous ces boulons, tous ces rouages qui vont tenir debout ce superbe monument et puis en France tout ce finit avec une coupe de champagne,alors direction le bar

lyliane said...

Quel travail! tes photos et la construction de la Tour...Il y a une bonne trentaine d'années, je pense, elle a subi une cure d'amaigrissement de plusieurs centaines de tonnes.
Tu as dû être frustré de ne pouvoir boire ta coupe de champagne après ton ascencion?
La prochaine fois prévient de ton arrivée!!

hpy said...

The painting must get heavier each time, as I remember one year when they talked about 40 or 47 tonnes only.

claude said...

Quel enchevètrement de poutres !
Tu penses qu'elle a besoin d'un bon coup de peinture à nouveau ?
Tu es monté tout en haut ?
Elle est belle quand elle brille de partout.

Cergie said...

Fallait le dégoter ce détail du top qui te permet une fort jolie photo... C'est pas moi avec mon vertige chronique qui monterais là haut faire des contorsions pour ramener ces écheveaux de fil de fer comme tu as fait...
Quoique... il parait qu'on s'habitue à tout, même à la hauteur vertigineuse
(La tour est notre Manekenpiss de nous à Paris, sauf qu'elle change pas de couleur comme on change de chemise. Rouge, jaune, bleue...)

Cergie said...

PS : la photo du bas est-elle de l'époque "still painting" ?

Mathilde said...

Bonjour Peter,

Et bien la robe de cette grande dame commence à se détériorer...

Quel travail Peter, c'est beau cet enchevêtrement métallique.. je vais finir par avoir envie d'aller lui faire une visite...

Mais comment lui faire honneur.. et la photographier... Tu as immortalisé tous les détails...

PS, ces centaines de photos ? certes, mais j’approche plutôt du millier.. Heureusement, je suis d’une intransigeance maladive, ainsi, j’en élimine pas mal.

Bonne journée à toi.

ruth said...

You can imagine I just love that first photo!

It's great to have all this information in one place. This is truly an ugly duckling story, eh? So hated and maligned, only to become the beautiful symbol of a city. I do love those twinkling lights once an hour, and your photo of it is just gorgeous.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

Heeeh the towe really needs a renovation, nice shot ( the 1th) we have the same steel in hour (old) house believe me that takes a lot of renovation every 4 years...

Thnaks:Your answer on my tuesday's BLOG question was right ( But I posted this post by accident 1 day too early eeh!) so see my newer wednesday post of today, quess? My own (face)portrait, :)

Greetings JoAnn's D Eyes

marie6 said...

Amazing how such high buildings were built so long ago considering they did not have the technology of today!

Ingrid said...

*lol* That first detail picture (I like them btw.) made me think of chocolate cover first. the next ones show a lot of metal, all looking like a mess. But the Eiffel tower is still well-built. I hope it will last forever ... with all that heavy paint?? ;-)

claude said...

Nos Amis Allemands viennent le 9 Octobre pour fêter leur première rencontre avec Philippe, il y a de cela 30 ans. I8l fdaisaient partie d'un groupe de music et Philippe aussi. C'est un peu gràace à eux que je junemalge de Ganderkesee et de Chateau-du-Loir s'est faite au niveau de la musique. Il y a aussi les musiques des pompiers des deux villes. On n'est jamais au courant de ce qui se passe quand les Français vont en Allemagne, mais je suppose que notre bonne ville n'est pas en reste. Je me renseigne.

pink ginger said...

Hi Peter,

It was really nice meeting you in Paris, I hope I will have another opportunity to visit this beautiful city again.

All the Best.

Maxime said...

Donc... si un jour il oublie de s'arrêter au troisième étage, il faudra environ quatre ans à l'ascenseur de la tour Eiffel pour parcourir la distance de la terre à la lune. Bon dieu, ce jour là, on aura pas intérêt, nous, d'avoir oublié les sandwichs !

Virginia said...

Glad you enjoyed the photos on my blog today. I thought they would appeal to you as you seem to have such a close relationship with your grandchildren!

Mona said...

wow! at last we come to know the history of the Eiffel Tower!

The first picture reminded me of chocolate, orange & vanilla ice cream!

So much Iron & so much hard work! But it seems worth it!

Shionge said...

Old charm still as fascinating still captivates my heart & soul :D

ALAIN said...

Je cherchais le nombre de rivets, je l'ai trouvé ! Très complet ton post.

Peter said...

Hopefully the champagne bar will be open when you come here!

Yes, January is perhaps not the best month...! :-)

Tough, but perhaps a good reference for a painter to put in his CV?

Peter said...

Faudrait qu'il soit ouvert!!

Oui, je crois qu tu as raison, mes les 60 tonnes de peinture supplémentaires ne semblent pas poser un problème.

De tout façon, beaucoup de peinture!

Peter said...

Je ne suis pas expert en peinture, mais ça a été annoncé!

Pour combattre le vertige, peut-être bien d'essayer de monter une dizaine de fois?

Il faut absolument aller ... et avec ton don pour la photo: Je te tiens la main si tu veux!

Peter said...

The reference to the ducklin story is perfect!

Painting every four years!! Bot not using 60 tons, I hope!

... and only in about 2 years!

Peter said...

I don't think anyone would now consider demolishing it! (But what is forever?)

J'attends que tu sois renseignée! :-))

pink ginger:
It was such a pleasure to meet you! I certainly hope we can meet again - in Paris or elsewhere! I trust you saw that I included some of your pics in a previous post! :-))

Peter said...

Quelle imagination!!

Yes, your pics were really charming!

Chocolate, icecream... I can see that many of us have similar dreams!

Peter said...

Appreciation of old charm sounds nice in my ears! :-))

Faudrait quand' même recompter quand' même! :-)

Matritensis said...

I´ve been in Paris to many times, and never on top of the tower.
The last time it was full of people, amazing!

Chuckeroon said...

Oooh, Excellent, Peter....this really appeals!. BTW...perhaps Cergie should drop in at the Champagne Bar...it always cures my vertige.....absolutely....rock solid.....absolutely.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Great post, Peter as always! You did an amazing reportage here. Thanks for sharing!

Peter said...

If you wish to avoid the crowd, maybe you should try a rainy November day? :-)

I'm sure Cergie will appreciate your advice! :-)

Thanks for your always kind comments!

Ming the Merciless said...

Jule Vernes restaurant is an expensive place, it seems.

If you are buying, I will gladly have dinner with you and your family there. :-)

Love the details on the Eiffel Tower.

Peter said...

Thanks for the generous proposition! ... but OK, if you come, let's try it together!