On the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower's first official viewing, we hand-pick a few interesting facts about this popular symbol from France
Man Made Marvel
When the Eiffel Tower was designed, not only did the iron structure tower over the Paris skyline but was also the tallest man-made structure in the world, a position it held until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. On March 31, 1889, a few members of the press, and dignitaries, visited the monument, which wasn't yet complete. It was designed such that it would be dismantled after 20 years. That decision was later changed and today, it is the most visited monument in the world. Its first and second levels house restaurants.
Eiffel And I
One of the several tennis grand slams held every year is the French Open or Roland Garros. A popular post event moment is when the winner of the title poses with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Spaniard Rafael Nadal poses with the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy in front of the Eiffel Tower after his victory against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Roland Garros on June 11, 2012.
Hitler On A Roll
June 24, 1940: German dictator Adolf Hitler at the Eiffel Tower, with his generals during the German occupation of France. It is said that when the Germans occupied France, they tried to unfurl the Nazi symbol of the swastika over the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower has been a muse and a venue for many fashion projects. Seen here is Indian designer, Shilpa Reddy who showcased some of her designs as a part of the J Autumn Fashion Show organised by entrepreneur and model Jessica Minh Anh at the Eiffel Tower.
French engineer Gustave Eiffel met with severe criticism over the design of the Eiffel Tower which was made by his company. The design was selected from over 100 applications that poured in when the government announced the opening of an exposition to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. The tower was supposed to serve as the entrance to the exposition, to people from around the world.
The Eiffel Tower is known for its special lighting used during different occasions, such as Bastille Day and New Year's Eve celebrations, especially during the ushering in of the new millennium. However, there are some exceptions. The monument switched off its lights last year during the Earth Hour, which coincidently falls on March 31, too. Seen here, the Tower had its lights switched off on January 8 this year as a tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo gun attack. pics/getty images
Cinema and the Eiffel Tower
If landing in India is portrayed through the Taj Mahal in several international films, France has the Eiffel Tower. The most common theme being a symbol of love, the tower has been toppled in several films to depict the end of the world such as in G.I. Joe. In Rush Hour 3, starring Jackie Chan, the structure served as the location for the final fight scene, with Chan and Chris Tucker jumping off the tower using the French flag as a parachute. In Bollywood, Shammi Kapoor's An Evening in Paris was one of the first films to be shot in the city of love, the latest being Kangana Ranaut's Queen.