Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eiffel Tower

Photo from France in Photos

It’s fun to admire the Eiffel Tower's new sparkle. Every night from sundown to 2 a.m., the 1,063 foot tall tower gives a special show ten minutes before the hour with dazzling blinking lights. Behind the Eiffel Tower's dazzle are 20,000 light bulbs, 40 kilometers of electrical wiring, 60 tons of metallic parts and an investment of 4.55 million euros. Workers installing the lighting had to contend with high winds, rain, sleet and snow, gawking tourists and the scary heights to have everything ready for the Dec. 31, 1999, millennium celebration. Fortunately the head of the company in charge of installing the new lighting was a professional mountaineer.

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

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