The Eiffel Tower is one of Paris, France’s signature elements. Actually, it’s probably the only universally recognized symbol of Paris! But for good reason: the Eiffel Tower was truly a scientific wonder of its time. So much so that it annoyed local artists in France, because they didn’t appreciate the science behind the innovation and were instead offended at what some called “art.”
And over the years, the Tower has continued to stir controversy, albeit while serving as the main attraction for tourists who visit. That said, things have changed over the years, and especially over the last three decades. From the 1990s to today, visitors’ experiences have changed a ton, and it’s not just about the Instagram influence. Check out these 12 photos that explain how visiting the Eiffel Tower has changed in the last 30 years.
13 Your Risk Of Lead Poisoning Has Dropped Substantially
The Eiffel Tower wouldn’t look as fabulous as it always does without regular touch-ups to its paint. But until at least 2001, the every-seven-year painting process used lead paint, confirms Insider. So, the good news is, 2020 visitors won’t have as much of a risk of breathing in lead as previous travelers.
12 Security Will Tackle You Before You Attempt A Sky-High Selfie
While one brave climber scaled the Eiffel Tower and took an epic selfie-stick selfie, that was a few years ago and things have definitely changed. These days, you can’t step foot in any unauthorized spot from which you could get a handhold to climb the tower. Stairs only, folks!
11 A New Glass Floor Let Visitors Feel Even More Anxious
The building already sways a handful of centimeters in the wind, but engineers decided to add a glass floor in 2014, CNN reported. These days, modern visitors can test their vertigo symptoms by peering through the see-through floor.
10 Some Visitors Got An Opportunity To Ice Skate In The Tower
In 2004, someone had the excellent idea of converting a first-floor area of the Eiffel Tower into an ice skating rink, explained NBC News. It’s come and gone over the years, but for a time, visitors could ice skate inside/under the tower over their winter vacays.
9 Tourists In Modern Times Can Catch A Buzz On The Top Floor
While Paris has never been too tough on day drinking, it wasn’t until 2015 that the Eiffel Tower added a champagne bar to the top level. Yes, you can sip on a glass of champagne and peer out of the wire cage atop the Tower without fear of falling out.
8 No More Movies Film On-Site (Thanks, Special Effects & CGI)
Vintage Superman comics featured the Eiffel Tower, so of course, one throwback Superman movie had to involve a daring rescue scene atop the tower. These days, though, we have CGI, elaborate sets and special effects, and actors who wouldn’t dare dangle from the top of the Tower (or even pretend to).
7 People Can Stay In An Eiffel Tower Apartment These Days
In 2016, an apartment was built on the first level of the Tower, explains Architectural Digest. This profitable space is in stark contrast to Gustave Eiffel’s “secret” living space at the top of the tower.
6 The Tower Might Be Taller Or Shorter Depending On The Season
If you visited the Eiffel Tower back in the winter of 1990, it may have grown a bit since then. Since the materials are wrought iron, the heat of the summer sun expands the metal, giving the tower a boost of nearly seven inches, says Insider. Still, that’s no excuse not to nail your holding-up-the-tower pic…
5 Your Chances Of Experiencing Serious Crime Are Lower…
Since the Eiffel Tower is a national icon, it’s understandable that there are loonies out there who want to threaten it. Like other landmarks around the world, the tower has had its share of terrorist threats.
The good news is that these days, there’s far more security than ever before, so you can drink your champagne in peace.
4 You Could Be Jailed For Photographing The Tower At Night
yup, The Sun confirms that snapping nighttime photos of the Eiffel Tower constitutes a violation of the copyright on the tower. Basically, the light show that’s attached to the tower and has been for years is now under copyright. Of course, the loophole is that you can have it in the background if something else is the focus of your snap (wink, wink).
3 You Can Peep In On Creepy Wax Figures Of Eiffel
On the Tower’s 130th anniversary, one of Eiffel’s descendants even got to enter the “secret” apartment for a selfie with his great (times ten?) grandpa’s wax figure. Thankfully, the average visitor doesn’t get such selfie privileges, but you might still be weirded out by the mannequin-like figures.
2 The Tower Can Hook You Up To Free Wi-Fi
Yes, it’s been a radio communication tower and a TV antenna before, but these days the Eiffel Tower’s all about that Wi-Fi. According to TripAdvisor, there’s Wi-Fi available in the gardens surrounding the tower (and all over Paris, too). All the more reason to whip out that selfie stick, right?
1 It’s All About The ‘Gram In The Modern World
Tourists love to pose in front of the Paris landmark wearing trendy outfits. Not much has changed there. But compare the 90s to today and now everyone’s doing everything for the ‘Gram, and that means they’re snapping Eiffel Tower pics for the same purpose. We can’t really blame them, though. Traveling to Paris totally warrants cheesy tourist snaps. Just don’t forget your wand.
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