When Brenda’s friend Randi Strong Petersen visited earlier this spring, she suggested that one evening we spend watching the sunset and light show at the Eiffel Tower. This turned out to be a most remarkable experience. No doubt you know of the Eiffel Tower, but in case you may not know the history, here is a short sketch from Wikipedia:
Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The third level observatory’s upper platform is at 915.7 ft (279.1 m) the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower stands 1,063 feet (324 m) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until theChrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition, in 1957, of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.
Randi suggested that we arrive prior to sunset and watch as the lights come on. The lights come on at dusk and remain on until 1 am (2 am in summer). Many souvenirs of the tower show flashing lights all over the structure, but these appear only at the hour and for 5 minutes thereafter.
You can see our photo album from sunset until dark here.