14 Eiffel Tower Trivia Facts You Can Read on the Elevator

It’s Eiffel Tower Day, which means there’s a nonzero chance you’ll be asked some Eiffel Tower-related questions next time you’re playing bar trivia. So why not keep some Eiffel Tower trivia in your back pocket just in case? Just in case you were wondering what Eiffel Tower Day is even for, it’s just the anniversary of its unveiling in 1889. At the very least, if you’re planning on going to Paris you can flex on your companions with random facts or something.

Eiffel Tower Trivia Facts

1. The Eiffel Tower has had multiple different paint jobs, and the paint has to be redone just about every seven years. Generally they’ve stuck to brown, which is the color you probably know the Eiffel Tower for being. But it’s also been yellow like five different times. 

2. You know that cyberpunk capitalist nightmare we all have where all the things we hold dear are turned into advertising opportunities? Well that happened to the Eiffel Tower for nine years, when a car company named Citroën used the Eiffel Tower as a giant billboard from 1925 to 1934. They went bankrupt and that’s why they stopped. 

3. The Eiffel Tower has actually grown. It started at 1024 feet tall and is now 1083 feet tall because they put antennas on it. 

4. 2.5 million rivets are kicking around holding the whole thing together. 

5. There are more than 50 derivatives of the Eiffel Tower worldwide.

6. People didn’t really like the idea of the Eiffel Tower when construction began in 1887. A lot of criticism came from authors and artists, who thought the skeletal appearance was quite ugly. 

7. There’s an apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

8. While Gustave Eiffel got the naming rights to the eponymous Eiffel Tower, he didn’t actually design it. The tower’s original design was penned by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nougier, who worked for Eiffel’s company. Eiffel was the guy who approved the designs. 

9. You know how changes in temperature can cause things to minutely change size? That’s why your building might creak on its own when the seasons change. As the metals in the Eiffel Tower expand or contract with the seasons, the tower can change up to six inches in height. 

10. Despite a committee of over 300 protesting the Eiffel Tower’s construction, it was super popular with the public. 

11. Originally, the tower itself was only supposed to stand for 20 years before being dismantled. It was then turned into a sort-of meteorology lab so it could stay standing. 

12. One time in 1923 a guy named Pierre Labric rode down the Eiffel Tower’s stairs on a bike.

13. During WWI, the Eiffel Tower was used to compromise a Dutch dancer named Mata Hari, who was spying on behalf of Germany. While she was found guilty and executed, hindsight has opened the door to the French getting it wrong, instead using Hari as a scapegoat—since the files used to convict her included a handful of falsifications. 

14. Something like 1 in every 679 proposals take place at the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower is pretty tall, but see if you know what’s taller here.