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The major events

For over 120 years, the Eiffel Tower has been the stage for numerous historical, cultural and sporting events. From the most moving to the most unusual, discover all the anecdotes that recount the Tower’s history.

Browse the History of the Eiffel Tower

Set the Eiffel Tower counter at the year of your choice and view that year's anecdote. masque photo

History of the Eiffel Tower from 1889 to nowadays: events, achievements, records, anecdotes

Year 1889

Gustave Eiffel visits the Tower

Sunday March 31st 1889 at 1.30 p.m., Gustave Eiffel showed some of the famous personalities of the day around what was then the tallest tower in the world.On this inauguration day, Eiffel climbed the 1710 steps leading to the third level of the tower before unfurling the French flag and hearing the 21 canon salute marking the occasion. Eiffel later inscribed these words in a woman's fan : " the French flag is the only one with a 300 meter pole." The Eiffel Tower remained the highest monument in the world until the construction of New York's Chrysler Building in 1930.

Gustave Eiffel is having lunch on the tower

Gustave Eiffel is having lunch on the tower when he notices Charles Gounod* sitting at a nearby table.Eiffel invites the musician to join him and his guests for lunch. After the meal, the guests all retired to Eiffel's apartment at the top of the tower for coffee. It was a glorious party. The guests asked Edison, Eiffel and Gounod to sign the menus taken from the restaurant below. Gounod sat down at the piano, improvised an exquisite tune speckled with variations of Musset's poetry: " ...go to sleep my beauty, your flight is over Isabelle... " The party broke up at 4 in the morning.

The Figaro installs a printing press on 2nd level

The Figaro installs a printing press on second level May 15th and begins to print the daily newspaper there.Visitors buying a paper can have their name inserted inside as a "certificate of ascent." The newspaper's cover illustration shows the Barber of Seville straddling the monument.

Sarah Bernhardt visit the Tower

September 4th at 10:30 a.m., Sarah Bernhardt and her sister visit the Eiffel Tower.After a stopover at M. Eiffel's private quarters at the top, they go down to the second level to visit the Figaro's workshop where they sign the guest book.

A three-colored light

A three-colored light, nestled in the bell-tower illuminates the Paris sky with a blue, white and red signal rotating every 90 seconds.Two matching mobile projectors (coming from the Mangin Navy system), hitched on a circular rail, sweep the city and surrounding area reaching up to an 11 kilometers away.

A single cannon shot

Until November 6th, closing date of the World's Fair, the daily opening and closings of the fair were marked with a single cannon shot.It was fired from the top of the tower under the direction of Mr. Chobert, "the arquebusier" and "qualified collaborator, decorated at the World's Fair," from Lafayette Street in Paris. The cannon still exists today and is now the property of one of Gustave Eiffel's descendants.

A tribute to French science and industry

Built as a tribute to French science and industry, the Eiffel Tower had to honor all those who participated in its expansion.For this reason, Gustave Eiffel decided to imprint the names of 72 scientists on the first level gallery.This endeavor was restored by the Eiffel Tower's New Exploitation Society in late 1986.

A meteorological laboratory

Beginning in 1889, a meteorological laboratory is placed at the top of the tower, 300 meters from the ground.This weather station included thermometers, psychrometers (which measure the humidity of the air), barometers and wind gauges. The daily readings are cabled to the meteorology office on Rapp Avenue. The office then publishes the results every day in its bulletin, as does the Figaro's "Special Edition, Printed in the Eiffel Tower."

Hundreds of lampposts

In May, days before the public opening of the monument, 400 000 people see the Eiffel Tower illuminated for the first time.Hundreds of lampposts protected by opaline globes illuminate the tower and remain lit for the duration of the World's Fair, which will, by its closing date, have hosted 32 250 297 visitors.

Thomas Edison visits the tower

After visiting the tower in 1889, Thomas Edison offered Gustave Eiffel his famous "Class M Phonograph of Spectacle Type".It was called this way because the instrument contained 2 recording and reading diaphragms which resembled a pair of glasses. The pre-recorded cylinder--an Ocarina solo-- accompanied the gift. Other than those used as demonstration pieces at the World's Fair in 1889, none of these phonographs appeared in Europe before 1895.

The Prince of Wales visit the tower

June 10th at 10:30 a.m., the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII), the Princess of Wales and 5 members of their family, enjoy a tour of the Eiffel Tower guided by Gustave Eiffel himself.At noon, the royal family visit the Figaro Printing House located on the second level, 115 meters above ground.

The Russian restaurant

The Russian restaurant was located on the first level between the northern and eastern pillars, now the Gustave Eiffel Room.

The Anglo-American bar

The Anglo-American bar was located on the first level, nestled between the southern and western pillars.

The French restaurant

The French restaurant was located on the first floor between the eastern and southern pillars.

The Flemish restaurant

The Flemish restaurant, located between the northern and western pillars will become a theater after the fair and "Dutch" in 1900, before becoming a theater again after the 1900 World's Fair.After being torn down in 1937, it is replaced by a restaurant.

Buffalo Bill visit the tower

The tower hosts an American envoy: he has long hair, a large hat and tawny chaps.It's none other than William F. Cody, otherwise known as Buffalo Bill.

Sadi Carnot visit the tower

July 10th at 9:30 a.m., the President of the French Republic, Mr. Sadi Carnot, goes up the Eiffel Tower.Satisfied and happily surprised by his visit, he offers 200 Francs to the Eiffel Tower employees and 100 Francs to the Figaro staff, set up on the second level during the World's Fair.


For Gustave Eiffel, installing elevators would have been difficult because hydraulic elevators were not technically up to par yet.Léon Audoux had presented the first French elevator at the 1867 World's Fair. But the tower's height and the inclination of its pillars made installing one difficult. The only company willing to take the risk was the foreign firm Otis. It built hydraulic elevators capable of adjusting to the changing inclination of the north and south pillars and brought visitors from the ground to the second level. Roux, Combaluzier and Lepape built 2 elevators which functioned at a constant inclination aided by a system of "articulated pistons." They brought visitors to the first level and were located in the south and east pillars.

Test of the brakes

Before opening the Otis elevators leading visitors to the second level, Messieurs Eiffel, Contamin and the authorities concerned wanted to test the brakes.There were parachute brakes destined to function only if the cable were to break. To test them, the metallic cables were replaced with simple hemp straps and the elevator raised 4 meters above ground. Suddenly, the straps were cut. Despite its weight, the elevator descended slowly as if it had been still held by ropes.

About the Eiffel Tower

The tower's construction began January 28th 1887 and ended March 31st 1889. It took exactly 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to complete.Fifty engineers, architects and draftsmen prepared 5300 drawings and 250 others worked on the construction site.

Year 1890

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 393 414 visitors.

Year 1891

347 steps on stilts

September 9th, Sylvain Dornon, a baker from Southwestern France, climbs the 347 steps leading to the first level on stilts.In March of the same year he had planned to walk from Paris to Moscow in the same fashion.

Manometers on the tower

In May 1891, the physicist and member of the Institute Mr. L. Cailletet wrote: "Free flowing manometers are the only instruments that can precisely determine and with constant approximation, the pressure inherent in gasses and liquids. The Eiffel Tower offered ideal conditions in which to install a free flowing manometer 300 meters from the ground. All of its elements were linked to the tower itself and could be accessed anywhere on the monument. This has been made possible thanks to Mr. Eiffel's open mind."

Year 1892

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 277 276 visitors.

Year 1893

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 265 894 visitors.

Year 1894

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 210 836 visitors.

Year 1895

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 218 974 visitors.

Year 1896

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 226 654 visitors.

Year 1897

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 199 827 visitors.

Year 1898

The first radio transmission

November 5th, Messieurs Ducretet and Roger, both makers of physics materials, attempted the first radio transmission between the Eiffel Tower and the Pantheon 4 kilometers away.The broadcasting equipment is set up at the top of the tower.

Year 1899

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 149 580 visitors.

Year 1900

The "noon cannon"

Parisians set their watches by the sound of the "noon cannon" fired at noon everyday until 1914.

The new elevators

When the 1990 World's Fair rolled around, the hydraulic elevators (Combaluzier, Roux & Lepape), occupying the east and west pillars are replaced by new ones provided by the Fives-Lille Company.The new elevators service both the first and second level, make 10 trips an hour and bring up 40 passengers each time. At this time, the tower hosts 2000 visitors a day. The motors of the new elevators are powered by hydraulic presses located in the machine room of the south pillar. The Otis elevator in the south pillar has thus been modified and now only goes from the ground to the first level. The Edoux elevator connecting the second and third levels is improved.

Year 1901

Santos Dumont in an air balloon

In 1900, Henry Deutsch, an industrialist, offers a 100 000 franc prize to the first aircraft pilot to go around the Eiffel Tower and return to his point of origin in less than 30 minutes. October 19th, M. Santos-Dumont realizes this feat in an air balloon and shares the prize money with his collaborators.

Year 1902

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 121 144 visitors.

Year 1903

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 122 979 visitors.

Year 1904

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 156 918 visitors.

Year 1905

"Stair Climbing Championship"

The daily newspaper "Le Sport" launches a "Stair Climbing Championship".November 26th, 227 competitors, divided up into veteran, children, runner, walker and soccer player categories, crowd the starting line. The winner is Forestier, a young man who took no more than 3 minutes and 12 seconds to reach the second level. He wins a Peugeot bike for his efforts.

Year 1906

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 182 399 visitors.

Year 1907

A giant clock

For the first time, a giant clock was set up at the second floor level. 20 foot luminous figures gave the time. Before then, a gun had been fired on the Tower to signal noon.

Year 1908

Strategic enemy messages are intercepted

The French army Captain Gustave Ferrié emits and receives messages from as far away as Berlin, Algiers and Casablanca.During the first world war, strategic enemy messages are intercepted by France in this manner. The military is now convinced of the tower's importance and make their temporary set up a permanent one.

Year 1909

"An intrepid sportsman"

On October 18th at 5 p.m., the Count of Lambert, "an intrepid sportsman", flies over Paris and the Eiffel Tower for the first time.He is at the helm of a 12 meter wide Wright plane made of cloth and wood.

An aerodynamic wind tunnel

In order to continue and improve his scientific experiments, Gustave Eiffel creates an aerodynamic wind tunnel.A huge fan creates the wind. The wind tunnel is inaugurated at the foot of the tower in 1909.

Cordless telegraph communication

In January, Victor Colin and Maurice Jeance, both former students of the "Ecole Superieure d'Electricite," begin research involving cordless telegraph communication for the Central Marine Commission.Through the research, the commission hopes to "coordinate the needs of different ministries," and to "promote technical progress through the experiments it assigns." The first test linked the Eiffel Tower up with the town of Villejuif, 8 kilometers away. Vice Admiral Aubert, Chief Staff Officer of the Navy noted: "The results were excellent, both in the clarity of the sound and the consistency of the reception."

Year 1910

The first signal transmission service

The first signal transmission service begins May 23rd.They are heard as far as 5200 kilometers away at night and half the distance during the day. In the daytime, they can be heard as far as Batoum in Georgia and as far as Glace Bay in Canada at night. Thanks to Major Gustave Ferrié, an international time organization, capable of determining the time throughout the globe is created, and begins to measure the exact position of longitudes.

Year 1911

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 204 168 visitors.

Year 1912

A "parachute garment"

February 4th at 8:30 a.m., an Austrian born tailor by the name of Franz Reichfelt attempts to fly from the first level of the Eiffel Tower with the help of a "parachute garment".The contraption is meant to "preserve flyers from dangerous falls." Reichfelt doesn't soar and will die of fright before hitting the ground.

The aerodynamic wind tunnel is moved

The aerodynamic wind tunnel set up at the foot of the tower is moved to the town of Auteuil in 1909.The model is patented as the "Gustave Eiffel Model." The wings of planes flown by Wright and Bleriot are tested there. This wind tunnel still exists today. It's there that Porsche tested the aerodynamic qualities of some of its race cars and that the control tower of the Charles de Gaulle I airport was studied.

Year 1913

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 261 337 visitors.

Year 1914

The summer solstice

On June 22nd every year between 1901 and 1914, members of the "Astronomy Society,"including the astronomer Mr. Camille Flammarion and several physicists, meet on the Eiffel Tower to observe the summer solstice.

Year 1915

Mata Hari

The tower radiotelegraphy center intercepts enemy messages.Thanks to this system, the infamous Mata Hari spy is caught.

Year 1916

First World War

The Tower was closed during the First World War.

Year 1917

First World War

The Tower was closed during the First World War.

Year 1918

First World War

The Tower was closed during the First World War.

Year 1919

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 311 714 visitors.

Year 1920

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 417 869 visitors.

Year 1921

The first live radio

Maud and Yvonne Printemps as well as Lucien and Sacha Guitry starred in the first live radio show broadcast from the tower.


January 15th, the "Illustration" publication reports a young painter by the name of Paul Cans has discovered an ingenious way to climb up the tower.He came up with a rope system allowing the wearer to go up or down as easily and as securely as on a staircase. The system, known as a "ouistiti", is truly a portable elevator. Its inventor demonstrated its capacities by raising himself to the first level of the tower (57 meters) in a matter of minutes and without great effort. The principle on which the "ouistiti" rests, involves blocking the slackness of a cable at any point by applying resistance in the other direction, thus creating a double jam.

Hiro-Hito visits the tower

Thursday June 2nd, while on his first trip to Europe, Hiro-Hito, the future emperor of Japan visited the Eiffel tower. He was then 20 years old.

Year 1922

The first regular radio broadcast

The first regular radio broadcasts of the "spoken news" begin transmission from the tower February 6th 1922 at the initiative of Marcel Privat and later Georges Delamare.

Year 1923

An avid cyclist

June 22nd 1923, Pierre Labric, an avid cyclist, journalist at the "Petit Parisien" and future mayor of the free town of Montmartre, goes down the stairs of the tower on a bike to win a bet.The authorities are waiting for him below.

The first feature film shot on the tower

Rene Clair's first film, "Slumbering Paris," is the first feature film shot on the tower.The 1923 film becomes one of the masterpieces of silent cinema. The tower and cinema were in fact born during the same period. Beginning in 1897, the tower appears in several of Louis Lumiere's productions.

Year 1924

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 585 730 visitors.

Year 1925

The first television experiment

A researcher called Edouard Belin begins the first television experiments.A mobile mirror sends back bits of images to a photocell panel. While the results are hazy and difficult to make out, the technique shows incredible promise.

An illuminated animation project

In order to match the mood of the International Exhibit of Modern Decorative Arts, the tower seeks the counsel of the Jacopozzi Company.The firm proposes an illuminated animation project. Its 600,000 franc cost can only be raised from advertising revenue. It's for this reason that the Citroën name is inscribed on 3 sides of the tower from 1925 to 1936 thanks to 250,000 different colored bulbs visible up to 40 kilometers away.

The man who sold the Eiffel Tower

The man who sold the Eiffel tower.Victor Lustig, the international swindler, sold the Eiffel Tower to a naive scrap metal merchant. Lustig, who was armed with false City of Paris letterhead, had convinced the poor fellow the tower was scheduled for demolition. The buyer chose not to press charges.

Year 1926

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 657 004 visitors.

Year 1927

"An incredible plane trek"

Saturday May 21st at 11:30 p.m., Captain Ch.A Lindbergh landed at "Le Bourget" after covering the 6000 kilometers separating New York and Paris. He thus became the first person to carry out a non-stop flight over the Atlantic. Moments after landing, Lindbergh admitted the illuminated tower is the first thing he saw while approaching Paris and that its thousand lights had guided him to the end of his daring voyage.

Year 1928

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 634 819 visitors.

Year 1929

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 577 624 visitors.

Year 1930

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 580 075 visitors.

Year 1931

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 822 550 visitors.

Year 1932

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 339 242 visitors.

Year 1933

The clock 200 meters above ground

In May, André Citoen added a two-faced 20 meter wide clock to the "E" of the Citroen name plastered on the tower since 1925.Multicolored light rays make up the hands, which light up one after the other to indicate the hours and minutes. By placing the clock 200 meters above ground, Citroen respects the clock-making principle requiring the clock face's diameter to measure one 10th of its distance from the ground. A 300 gram motor was powerful enough to allow the 3000 lamps and 17 kilometers of cable to function properly.

Year 1934

A 160 meter long thermometer

February 24th, a 160 meter long thermometer, the largest in the world, is affixed to the side of the tower.Devised by the engineers of the Jacopozzi company, the instrument is placed on top of the existing clock faces. Red lamps show the movement of the mercury.

Year 1935

The first 60 line broadcast

A television studio allowing the first 60 line broadcast is inaugurated November 17th 1935.April 17th, the Posts, Telegraph and Telephone Minister, George Mandel, announced he would make the creation of "national television system, functioning alongside the radio system," a priority. By 1936, 4 official shows are broadcast each week from the tower.

Year 1936

A television antenna at the top of the tower

George Mandel, the Posts, Telegraph and Telephone Minister, orders a television antenna be placed at the top of the tower.

Year 1937

The largest chandelier in the world

During the Arts and Techniques Exhibit, the architect André Grasset created the largest chandelier in the world to hang under the first platform.10 kilometers of multicolored fluorescent tubes connected to 30 navy projectors aimed at the sky, bathe the tower in white light specked with blue and red flashes.

Year 1938

A huge Union Jack

A huge Union Jack hung on the side of the tower marks King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's visit to Paris.The 120 kilogram flag is 40 meters long and 30 meters wide.

Year 1939

Royal couple

Several celebrations, including a mass celebrated by Monsignor Chaptal, the Archbishop of Paris, a gala dinner presided by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the day of his 45th birthday no less,) and the Miss Eiffel Tower beauty pageant (won by Jacqueline Vialle, a 19-year-old salesgirl standing 1.85 meters tall), mark the Eiffel Tower's 50th birthday.

Year 1940

The second world war

(The second world war) The French Army having asked him to render the Eiffel Tower unusable for the occupying forces, the Eiffel Tower director decides to cut the elevator and electrical cables instead of destroying them altogether.In 1945, the elevators are repaired and allied soldiers are allowed to go up the tower free of charge.

Year 1941

Second World War

The Tower was closed during the Second World War.

Year 1942

Second World War

The Tower was closed during the Second World War.

Year 1943

Second World War

The Tower was closed during the Second World War.

Year 1944

The liberation of Paris

During the liberation of Paris, American troops set up their transmission equipment on the second level of the tower in order to communicate with ports on the Channel, Great Britain and troops camped out on the outskirts of the city.

A concealed flag

On August 25th at midday, the fire chief Lucien Saringuet goes to the Eiffel Tower armed with a concealed flag. Whith intense combat continuing at the foot of the tower, he climbs it while being shot at by German soldiers. Like 2 employees of the Naval Museum before him, he was not able to hoist up the flag, though he had been the last one to pull it down after the German invasion June 13th 1940.

Year 1945

Second World War

The Tower was closed during the Second World War.

Year 1946

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 603 349 visitors (since June).

Year 1947

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 009 161 visitors.

Year 1948

An elephant at the tower

June 4th, Bouglione, the Director of the circus of the same name, offers ones of its members a tour of the Eiffel Tower.The happy recipient is none other than the oldest elephant in the world (85 years) who will not go beyond the first level.

Year 1949

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 143 046 visitors.

Year 1950

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 026 631 visitors.

Year 1951

Princess Margaret Rose visits the tower

November 21st, Princess Margaret Rose, Elizabeth's sister, visits the Eiffel Tower.

Year 1952


In April, a television show is broadcast live from the Eiffel Tower to London for the first time in television history.The difficulty for the technicians lies in linking the 819 lines used in Britain to the 405 used in France. The actors are as follows: Georges de Caunes and Jacqueline Joubert from French television and Miss Reeves, the BBC delegate.

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A trapeze demonstration 118 meters above ground

June 6th, Rose Gold, otherwise known as the "air fairy," performs a trapeze demonstration 118 meters above ground without a net. At that height, she is as high as the tower's second platform.

Year 1953

Live from Britain

June second, thanks to the tower's radio transmitter, the French can follow Elizabeth II's crowning ceremony live from Britain.It was the beginning of Eurovision.

Year 1954

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 301 152 visitors.

Year 1955

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 435 192 visitors.

Year 1956

"Funny Face"

Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire shot "Funny Face" in the spring of 1956.The Eiffel Tower appears in many of the scenes of this Stanley Donen film.

Year 1957

The top of the tower is burned out

In 1956, a fire breaks out in the television broadcast room.The top of the tower is burned out, the 4th level belvedere destroyed, and the fittings supporting the mast badly damaged. Renovations last a year. In 1957, a new platform and live transmission equipment are installed. The new technology allows 3 television stations of 819 lines to broadcast their signals as well as FM radio transmission. The new raises brings the tower's total height to 320.75 meters.

Year 1958

The "Season of Paris"

In honor of the celebrations surrounding the "Season of Paris", the Eiffel Tower changes its lighting.Projector batteries are hidden in the Champ-de-Mars garden. These 1290 projectors will remain in service until 1985.

Year 1959

The 35 millionth visitor

In June, the 35 millionth visitor walks through the Eiffel Tower gates.He is Julien Bertin, age 10 and a half from Quincampoix in Normandie. Mr. Legrain-Eiffel, Gustave Eiffel's grandson, hands him the keys of a Simca P60. Neither his father, nor his mother have a driver's license.

Year 1960

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 735 230 visitors.

Year 1961

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 1 763 448 visitors.

Year 1962

"The Longest Day"

September 25th, Darryl Zanuck presents his film entitled "The Longest Day".2700 people, directed by 150 republican guards, 150 British, Canadian and American soldiers, 4 tanks and 6 cannons participate in this gala event. On the first level, Edith Piaf sings before 25,000 Parisians and 1500 fireworks are set off.

Year 1963

An extraordinary ballet on the 4th floor

July 11th, French television records an extraordinary ballet on the 4th floor of the Eiffel Tower.The show, entitled "Heart of Paris," brings together Maurice Chevalier, Zizi Jeanmaire and Marceau the mime for the first time.

Youri Gagarine visits the tower

The General de Gaulle invites Youri Gagarine, the first astronaut to France.He visits Paris and goes up to the third level of the Eiffel Tower.

Year 1964

75th birthday

Despite the terrible weather, climbers Guido Magnone and Rene Desmaison attempt to climb the monument in May to mark its 75th birthday.Their climb will be rebroadcast by Eurovision. The tower management also invite 75 Parisians born in 1889 to lunch. The most famous among them is Maurice Chevalier.

The historic monument

June 24th, the Culture Minister André Malraux, registers the Eiffel Tower on the list of historic monuments.

Year 1965

An electric elevator

An electric elevator, capable of transporting 110 passengers is put into the north pillar of the tower.

Year 1966

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 405 554 visitors.

Year 1967

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 416 502 visitors.

Year 1968

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 070 417 visitors.

Year 1969

A skating rink

A skating rink opens on the first level of the Eiffel Tower December 2nd.The Moscow circus bear is the first to try it.

Year 1970

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 757 768 visitors.

Year 1971

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 899 070 visitors.

Year 1972

60 sheep to the Champ-de-Mars garden

October 25th, 6 shepherds bring 60 sheep to the Champ-de-Mars garden.They are protesting the 104 expropriations ordered in the Larzac Plateau (in the Massif Central region) to make way for a nationally controversial military installation.

Year 1973

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 2 914 814 visitors.

Year 1974

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 3 018 455 visitors.

Year 1975

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 3 045 573 visitors.

Year 1976

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 3 050 606 visitors.

Year 1977

A drive on the second level

On October 17th, Arnold Palmer, the famous golf champion performs a drive on the second level of the Eiffel Tower.

Year 1978

Illuminated with 30,000 lights

Jacques Chirac, the mayor of Paris offers Parisians a Christmas tree illuminated with 30,000 lights.

Year 1979

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 3 429 571 visitors.

Year 1980

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 3 594 190 visitors.

Year 1981

Relief of the building

In March and in cooperation with the City of Paris, the "Societe Nouvelle d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel", responsible for managing the tower since January 1st, undertakes the most important renovations in the tower's history.The monument is made 1000 tons lighter (to attain a total weight of 1340 tons). The weight had been added after its construction and had created serious structural deformities that needed to be corrected. Staircases and elevators are completely reconstructed. Security measures adapted to the tower's current operations are instated. The new management will use the renovations and new constructions to improve the welcome reserved for visitors.

First phase of the renovations

First phase of the renovations: the first floor. All structures are checked, then reinforced, or replaced if necessary. The floor is lightened by 75% and the constructions hanging from it are destroyed. Three new pavilions are built to house existing services like the souvenir shop and restaurant in addition to new facilities like the Gustave Eiffel Room, the post office and the film house. A security system is put in place.

Year 1982

The tower's new facilities

September 23rd, Jacques Chirac, the mayor of Paris, inaugurates the tower's new facilities.The total bill for the tower's facelift comes to 205 million Francs. The monument remained opened for the duration of the renovations.

Renovations: phase 2

Renovations: phase 2. Reorganization of the second level and creation of a third level on which the panoramic restaurant named "Jules Verne," now sits. Restructuring of the third level into 2 platforms: one covered and equipped with orientation tables showing the distance separating other world cities, and an open-air terrace with a view into Gustave Eiffel's office.

Year 1983

An international auction broadcast

December 1st, an international auction broadcast by 21 television stations from the entire world is held on the first level.Twenty sections of the helical staircase that had connected the second floor to the top of the Eiffel Tower are for sale. The event was extremely successful. A 4,30 meter fragment can be found on the monument's first level and others have been given to French museums. The staircase had been taken out for security reasons in 1983 and replaced by 2 safer sets of stairs attached to the tower, giving it a more transparent appearance.

100th million visitor

September 9th at 10:30 a.m., the Eiffel Tower welcomes its 100th million visitor, Mrs. Jacqueline Drouillot, a resident of the Nievre province.The singer Mireille Matthieu offers Mrs. Drouillot the keys of a BX Diesel car donated by the Citroen Automobile Company. The new electric elevator cabins connecting the 2nd and 3rd floors are introduced to print, radio and television journalists during the ceremony. Jacqueline Drouillot has the honor of being the first one to try the "duolifts" invented by the Otis company that will be open to the public September 17th.

Motorcross bike on the Tower

October 26th, Jacques Coutard and Joel Descuns go down the stairs from the second level on the first French-built motorcross bike.


The double cabin built by the Edoux Company servicing the third floor is replaced by a modern electric system engineered by Ascinter-Otis and named "duolifts." Four cabins or 2 duolifts link the ground level to the third floor, making a cabin change obsolete.They can carry up to 1700 passengers an hour. The "Jules Verne" restaurant on the second floor is equipped with its own Otis elevator and private entrance located in the south pillar.

Year 1984

A commemorative medal

Just as a ceremony had been organized in 1889 to thank the people who built the tower, the Eiffel Tower's "Societe Nouvelle d'Exploitation" offered a commemorative medal to the 150 workers who had distinguished themselves during the renovations.The ceremony coincided with a workers guild celebration held after St. Joseph's day, the patron of all carpenters. On this occasion, 250 fellow workers from 7 European countries stood alongside those honored. They will all participate in the inauguration headed by Jacques Chirac, the mayor of Paris. They also unveil a plaque paying homage to the efforts of one of their own, Eugene Milon, who ran the construction site under Gustave Eiffel's direction from 1887 to 1889 .

A plane between the tower's pillars

March 31st at 11:20, a 27-year-old American pilot, Robert Moriarty flies between the tower's pillars aboard a Beechcraft Bonanza.The former marine had performed 824 missions in Vietnam. When asked why he had done it, he replied: "Just for fun."

They are British and in love

They are British and in love. Amanda Tucker and Mike McCarthy dream of jumping off the Eiffel Tower together. April 18th at 11 a.m., they arrive on the third level. In order to appear like any other tourists, they snap photos of each other. All of a sudden, they take out their parachutes and jump off the tower. They land without a hitch in the Champ-de-Mars garden after a 45 second flight.

Year 1985

Celebration of the year of India

June 7th, a "Mela" is inaugurated in celebration of the year of India.The country's Prime Minister offers Mrs. Mitterrand a young elephant for the occasion. She later gave the animal to the Vincennes Zoo.

3 American astronauts from the Space Shuttle

September 1st, 3 American astronauts from the Space Shuttle Discovery visit the Eiffel Tower.They are Mr. Brandenstein, the captain, M. Creighton, the pilot and Shannon Lucid, a woman astronaut.

The tower's new lighting

The tower's new lighting is inaugurated December 31st.352 thousand watt projectors aiming upwards now light the tower from the inside. They are equipped with yellowish-orange high pressure sodium lamps. Pierre Bideau, a lighting specialist from "sound and light" shows, put together the new system that replaced the 1290 projectors in use since 1958.

Year 1986

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 4 386 291 visitors.

Year 1987

A daredevil

A daredevil New Zealander by the name of AJ Hackett, bungee jumps from the second level.The unauthorized stunt presented formidable risks.

Thanks to 9 satellites

January 1st, an important first in the telecommunications world takes place on the Eiffel Tower.Thanks to 9 satellites (covering 700,000 kilometers) and 64 telephone circuits (using 800,000 kilometers of wire), hundreds of young people from Paris and other world cities converse with each other live. The 2 and a half hour international dialogue was a France Telecom and TF1 initiative.

Year 1988

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 4 688 468 visitors.

Year 1989

A service elevator

In order to reserve the use of the elevators to Eiffel Tower visitors, a service elevator linking the ground and second floors is created by Otis and installed in the south pillar.

The Eiffel Tower celebrates its first centenary

On 31st March, the Eiffel Tower celebrated its 100 years of existence. The Tower's inauguration, during wich Gustave Eiffel unfurled the French flag at its summit, was re-enacted by actors in period costume. Numerous guests attended this most original event under a glorious sky.

An exceptional birthday show

On 17th June, the Paris City Council presented an exceptional extravaganza going back over 100 years in the Tower's history. Under dazzling light effetcs and multioloured laser bearns, singer, dancers and acrobats took took part in this one-hour magical show.

An exploit of the Tight-rope walker, Philippe Petit

On 26th August, flamingly-dressed famous tight-rope walker Philippe Petit walked the 700 metres between the Trocadéro Square and the second floor of the Eiffel Tower on a sloping cable strung across the River Seine. He was greeted by Jacques Chirac, the Mayor of Paris. Crowds pressed around the Tower and television crews gave the performances worldwide coverage.

Year 1990

Image et science

The "Image et Science" scientific audiovisual techniques international show was held for the first time at the Eiffel Tower, thus granting Gustave Eiffel's wish to establish his building's pedigree in the world of science.

Year 1991

Exhibition "World Towers"

An entertaining exhibition called "World Towers : from Babel to the Present Day", revived through documents and artistic creatons the universal fascination that has always surrounded the myth of the Tower, from ancient to present times.

Year 1992

50 european artists

The Eiffel Tower paid tribute to its many Euopean visitors with exhibition entitled "Visions of Europe", placing on show the paintings, sculptures and photographs of 50 young artists from 30 European capitals.

Year 1993

The 150 Millionth visitor

On Monday 30th August at 5.51 p.m., the Eiffel Tower hosted its 150 millionth visitor. The lucky person was a 33-year-old policwoman, Jacqueline Martinez. To her amazement, she was greeted with the sounds of an orchestra playing Charles Trenet's "La Tour Eiffel". Showered with gifts, she drove away from the Eiffel Tower at the wheel of a brand new car.

Year 1994

An indian on the Eiffel Tower

"Un indien dans la ville", a French film by Hervé Palud featuring actors Thierry Lhermitte and Patrick Timsit, was released. In the film, the hero of an amazing adventure brings back to Paris a son of his, who was brought up in a remote village of Amazonia. The little boy, called Mimi-Siku and performed by Ludwig Briand, plays truant, venturing out alone in Paris to end up climbing the Eiffel Tower. The film met with great success and was later given a remake in the United States.

Year 1995

17th Painting Campaign

The Eiffel Tower underwent its 17th painting campaign since it was built. Every 7 years, some 25 workers climb up the Tower to apply the 60 tonnes of paint needed to ensure its maintenance. The paint is designed to preserve the building's iron and steel struvture. The current bronze colour was finally adopted 20 years ago after many variants were tested out, from reddish-brown to yellow ochre.

Eiffel Tower and cinema

On, the occasion of the 100 years of the film industry, the Eiffel Tower paid tribute to its early years in France by hosting a major exhibition. Contemporary with the cinema, another great technical challenge of the late-19th century, the Tower was filmed by Louis Lumière as early as 1897. Gustave Eiffel himself tokk part in the development of the cinema as sleeping partner in the company set up Léon Gaumont in 1895.

Concert for tolerance

On the proposal of UNESCO, 1995 was chosen to be the Year of Tolerance. To celebrate this effort, Jean-Michel Jarre gave a prodigious electronic concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on 14th July.

Year 1996

Refurbishing of the 1st floor

On the first floor of the Tower, the Pavillon Ferrié, wich houses a shop, a post office, a buffet and windows displays, was entirely refurbished. The brasserie on the same level also underwent full conversion. Its decoration by Slavik & Loup was inspired by the theme of airships and gave priority to views over Paris. The brasserie was given the name "Altitude 95", a reference to air navigation indicating its position 95 metres above sea level.

The "feroscope", a new exhibition

The Eiffel Tower celebrated the material which it was built by inaugurating the ''Feroscope'', a permanent exhibition held on the first floor, which explains to visitors how the building's iron beams were riveted together and maintained over the years with successive layers of paint in varying colours depending upon the choise of the time. Staged in collaboration with the Iron Museum of Nancy, this exhibition relates three thousand years in the history of iron. Works by sculptors César and Arman were put on display for the occasion.

Year 1997

The Eiffel Tower under ice floe

On 25th February, French President Jacques Chirac commemorated the 50th anniversary of the French polar expeditions through a tribute to Paul-Emile Victor. The first-floor platform was turned into an ice floe, complete with penguins and figures dressed in polar clothing, surrounded by tracked vehicles, sleighs and scientific equipment.

D-1000 before year 2000

On 5th April at midnight, the Mayor of Paris, Jean Tiberi, set in motion the huge countdown clock hung up on the Eiffel Tower opposite the Trocadéro, designed to count the remaining 1000 days down to the year 2000. Lit up day and night and looking down on Paris from height of 100 metres, the counter was 33 metres wide, 12 metres high, and weighed 50 tonnes. It was composed of 1342 projectors, supplied with 4 kilometres of cable. More than 100 reporters and some 20 television channels from all over the world jostled to attend the launching ceremony. Just as the clock was switched on, the Tower's newly-created Web site was also activated.

Thai craftmen treasure

On 15th April, Queen Sirikit of Thailand, accompanied by Madame Jacques Chirac, wife of the President of the French Republic, inaugurated the "Thailand: treasures of craftsmanship" exhibition, held on the first floor of the Tower. More than 300 ancient and present-day artefacts, combining modest village craftsmen's works and sumptuous works of art by the Court, were displayed under a tent converted for the occasion into a Thai pavillon bedecked with bells.

500 000 young people at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

On the occasion of the World Youth Days, the Eiffel Tower received impressive media coverage when its image went round the world during the Pope's visit of 21st August. In front of 500,000 pilgrims assembled on the Champ de Mars, John Paul II took the microphone and paid an impromptu tribute to the Eiffel Tower, saying: "Now we know why engineer Eiffel built this tower: to gather around it a large assembly of young people on the occasion of the World Youth Days..."

Christen of the Eiffel Tower Rose

On the 24th September, a rose was officialy named "Tour Eiffel 2000" before an assembly of professional and amateur rose growers.

First science-fiction literary award

In October, Jacqueline Nebout, Chief Executive Officer of the company operating the Eiffel Tower - the Société Nouvelle d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel - awarded the first Eiffel Tower Prize for Science-Fiction, a literary award created on her initiative. The winner of this first edition was Pierre Bordage, author of Wang (L'Atalante Publisher).

Year 1998

Tribute to Jules Verne

On 26th May, the Parisians discovered a huge portrait of Jules Verne hung up between the Tower's first and second floors. This effigy, made after a photgraph by Nadar - a famous turn-of-the-20th-century photgrapher - was composed of 8 cm, black and silver aluminium round discs mounted on 300 m2 of netting, the whole wighing a total of 2.1 tonnes. Paying tribute to the great 20th-century visionary novelist, the portrait was backed by a show held within the Tower, entitled "Jules Verne 2000, travel to unknown worlds".

Year 1999

The Eiffel Tower in Florence

The Eiffel Tower took an unexpected trip to Italy when the city of Florence staged, in the building housing the National Archives, a large-scale exhibition dedicated to the Tower: "From Tuscany to Gustave Eiffel's Europe, the Eiffel Tower on the banks of the Arno". Held for more than three months, the exhibition was designed to raise public awareness of Europe's rich 19th-century heritage, of wich the famous Paris landmark is considered as the most remarkable work of art.

A magical show for year 2000

On the night of December 31st, the Eiffel Tower celebrated the transition to the year 2000 with a magical show, a dance of fire and light which fired the imaginaton of the whole planet, broadcast by 250 television channels from all over the world. After this grand festivity, considered by many as the most spectacular Millennium event, the Tower continues to draw a marvelling public throughout the year 2000, glistening every night with 20,000 stars which add sparkle to its usual golden light. And restore the Tower's original configuration, the top has been re-fitted with a beacon, whose pencils of light henceforth scan the Paris sky.

Year 2000

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 315 324 visitors.

Year 2001

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 103 987 visitors.

Year 2002

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 103 987 visitors.

Year 2003

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 5 864 969 visitors.

Year 2004

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 230 050 visitors.

Year 2005

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 428 441 visitors.

Year 2006

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 719 200 visitors.

Year 2007

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 822 374 visitors.

Year 2008

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 826 591 visitors.

Year 2009

Number of visitors

During this year, the Tower welcomed 6 503 413 visitors.