10 Things You May Not Know About the Eiffel Tower

10 Things You May Not Know About the Eiffel Tower


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1. The Eiffel Tower was once yellow

In fashionable Paris, even the Eiffel Tower must keep up with style trends. Over the decades, the “Iron Lady” has changed her looks with the application of a spectrum of paint colors. When it opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower sported a reddish-brown color. A decade later, it was coated in yellow paint. The tower was also yellow-brown and chestnut brown before the adoption of the current, specially mixed “Eiffel Tower Brown” in 1968. Every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep her looking young. The tower is painted in three shades, progressively lighter with elevation, in order to augment the structure’s silhouette against the canvas of the Parisian sky.

2. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution

Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.

3. For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure

At 986 feet, the Eiffel Tower was nearly double the height of the world’s previous tallest structure—the 555-foot Washington Monument—when it opened in 1889. It would not be surpassed until the completion of the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Although the Eiffel Tower eclipsed the Chrysler Building in height with the addition of an antenna in 1957, it still trailed behind another Gotham skyscraper, the Empire State Building.

4. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s largest billboard

When dusk fell across Paris between 1925 and 1936, a quarter-million colored bulbs attached to three sides of the tower’s steeple illuminated to spell the 100-foot vertical letters of the French automobile company Citroën. The advertisement blazed so brightly that it was visible from nearly 20 miles away, and Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon when he landed in Paris on his 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight.

5. Gustave Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark

When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. (Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.)

6. Parisian artists petitioned against the “monstrous” structure

Although now a worldwide symbol of romance, the radical design of the Eiffel Tower inspired anything but love in the hearts of 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals who signed the following manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.” The screed even said that the “gigantic black factory chimney” was so loathed that “even commercial-minded America does not want” it.

7. Radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction

Since Eiffel footed 80 percent of the tower’s construction costs, he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in order to recoup his investment before it passed into the hands of the Parisian government, which planned to disassemble it for scrap metal. Seeking a way to prove the structure’s strategic utility in a bid to save it, Eiffel erected an antenna atop the tower and financed experiments with wireless telegraphy that began in 1898. The value of the tower in sending and receiving wireless messages, particularly for the French military, caused the city to renew Eiffel’s concession when it expired in 1909. Today, more than 100 antennae on the tower beam radio and television broadcasts around the world.

8. The Eiffel Tower contributed to the capture of Mata Hari

During World War I, the French military used the tower’s wireless station to intercept enemy messages from Berlin. In 1914, the French were able to organize a counter-attack during the Battle of the Marne after secretly learning that the German Army was halting its advance. Three years later, the station atop the Eiffel Tower intercepted a coded message between Germany and Spain that offered details about “Operative H-21.” Based in part on this message, the French arrested, convicted and executed legendary spy Mata Hari for spying on behalf of Germany.

9. The tower housed a scientific laboratory

Eiffel engraved the names of 72 of the country’s scientists in the tower’s first-level gallery, and atop the structure he installed a laboratory that was used by himself and French scientists to study astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics and physiology and test experiments such as Foucault’s Pendulum. In 1909 Eiffel installed an aerodynamic wind tunnel at the base of the tower that carried out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles.

10. Daredevils have died attempting aerial feats at the tower

Using everything from parachutes to bungee cords, adventurers for decades have used the tower to stage daring stunts. Not all the thrill-seekers have defied death, however. In 1912, French tailor Franz Reichelt attempted to fly from the tower’s first floor with a spring-loaded parachute suit but crashed 187 feet to the ground instead. Fourteen years later, aviator Leon Collot was killed attempting to fly his plane beneath the span of the tower when it became entangled in the aerial from the wireless station and crashed in a ball of flame.


Knowing How You Know/Height of the Eiffel Tower

Can the height of the Eiffel Tower be known? How might it be determined? You might look up the height in a reference such as Wikipedia, or search for other sources and find these answers:

Someone else might visit the tower and measure its height directly by ascending to the top, dropping a string to the bottom and measuring the length of string. Yet another person might use various surveying techniques involving a transit or triangulation or laser measuring devices. Techniques using GPS devices or changes in barometric pressure might provide other measurements. Historic and recent engineering drawings and plans could be consulted.

If these various techniques for measuring the height give different results, how do we best interpret these discrepancies? Perhaps the height is unknowable, or is a matter of opinion or belief or just a feeling. It is more likely, however, that the Eiffel Tower does have a height, the actual height is knowable to the limits of our measurement accuracy, and the variations in the heights reported reflect errors in the various techniques used for each measurement.

The principle of consilience assures us that the tower does have a height and that increasingly accurate efforts to measure the height will converge toward the actual height. The principle of consilience is at the foundation of every coherent theory of knowledge. When two different approaches to measuring the same length arrive at different results, there is an opportunity to learn about measurement techniques by comparing the measurements and investigating to resolve the discrepancies. The investigators might ask: Was the same definition of height used in each case? Were the same units of measurement used? Were the measuring instruments accurately calibrated? Was the accuracy of each measurement device used known? Could the height have varied as a result of thermal expansion as the temperature varied throughout the day or some other dynamic effect?

Facts provide common ground. We all live on the same planet within the same known universe. Reality provides us a universal reference standard. Careful examination of our world as it actually is can bring us toward agreement about what is true about our world. This shared knowledge about how our world is can form a substantial common basis for discussing what could be and even what ought to be. Reality is our common ground. We can progress together by converging toward reality.

As a result of consilience, reliable epistemologies—ways of knowing—converge on matters of fact. A lack of convergence casts doubt on the reliability of the methods used for establishing facts. Pursuing such discrepancies can lead to important insights about the reliability of our methods. Agreeing to disagree on matters of fact is a decision to accept complacency and incoherence.

The Eiffel Tower has a height. Conscientious efforts to determine that height will result in a series of increasingly accurate estimates converging toward the actual height.

When two people are disagreeing about a factual claim it is time to stop arguing and start researching. Do not debate matters of fact, instead investigate and research more deeply to determine the facts. Understand the boundaries of tolerance. Do not tolerate matters of fact being characterized as opinions, beliefs, feelings, or culturally relative. Facts are stubborn, learn from them.


10 Things You May Not Know About the Eiffel Tower

On March 31, 1889, workers riveted the last of more than 18,000 iron pieces into place to complete construction of the Eiffel Tower. To inaugurate the magnificent metallic structure, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, climbed its 1,710 steps and unfurled a French tricolor flag from its pinnacle. As the Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old, explore 10 surprising facts about the Parisian icon.

1. The Eiffel Tower was once yellow.


In fashionable Paris, even the Eiffel Tower must keep up with style trends. Over the decades, the “Iron Lady” has changed her looks with the application of a spectrum of paint colors. When it opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower sported a reddish-brown color. A decade later, it was coated in yellow paint. The tower was also yellow-brown and chestnut brown before the adoption of the current, specially mixed “Eiffel Tower Brown” in 1968. Every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep her looking young. The tower is painted in three shades, progressively lighter with elevation, in order to augment the structure’s silhouette against the canvas of the Parisian sky.

2. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.

Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.

3. For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure.


At 986 feet, the Eiffel Tower was nearly double the height of the world’s previous tallest structure—the 555-foot Washington Monument—when it opened in 1889. It would not be surpassed until the completion of the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Although the Eiffel Tower eclipsed the Chrysler Building in height with the addition of an antenna in 1957, it still trailed behind another Gotham skyscraper, the Empire State Building.

4. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s largest billboard.


When dusk fell across Paris between 1925 and 1936, a quarter-million colored bulbs attached to three sides of the tower’s steeple illuminated to spell the 100-foot vertical letters of the French automobile company Citroën. The advertisement blazed so brightly that it was visible from nearly 20 miles away, and Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon when he landed in Paris on his 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight.

5. Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark.


When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. (Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.)

6. Parisian artists petitioned against the “monstrous” structure.


Although now a worldwide symbol of romance, the radical design of the Eiffel Tower inspired anything but love in the hearts of 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals who signed the following manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.” The screed even said that the “gigantic black factory chimney” was so loathed that “even commercial-minded America does not want” it.

7. Radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction.


Since Eiffel footed 80 percent of the tower’s construction costs, he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in order to recoup his investment before it passed into the hands of the Parisian government, which planned to disassemble it for scrap metal. Seeking a way to prove the structure’s strategic utility in a bid to save it, Eiffel erected an antenna atop the tower and financed experiments with wireless telegraphy that began in 1898. The value of the tower in sending and receiving wireless messages, particularly for the French military, caused the city to renew Eiffel’s concession when it expired in 1909. Today, more than 100 antennae on the tower beam radio and television broadcasts around the world.

8. The Eiffel Tower contributed to the capture of Mata Hari.


During World War I, the French military used the tower’s wireless station to intercept enemy messages from Berlin. In 1914, the French were able to organize a counter-attack during the Battle of the Marne after secretly learning that the German Army was halting its advance. Three years later, the station atop the Eiffel Tower intercepted a coded message between Germany and Spain that offered details about “Operative H-21.” Based in part on this message, the French arrested, convicted and executed Mata Hari for spying on behalf of Germany.

9. The tower housed a scientific laboratory.


Eiffel engraved the names of 72 of the country’s scientists in the tower’s first-level gallery, and atop the structure he installed a laboratory that was used by himself and French scientists to study astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics and physiology and test experiments such as Foucault’s Pendulum. In 1909 Eiffel installed an aerodynamic wind tunnel at the base of the tower that carried out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles.


12 Things You Didn't Know About the Eiffel Tower

There's a reason this famous landmark is synonymous with Paris: It's tall, chic, and rich in history. But you might be surprised to find out that some Parisians weren't always so keen on this monument, because they thought it obstructed the city's skyline (now, most would argue it makes it!). Here are more fun facts about this iconic tower:

1. It was built in 1889 to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

And was part of the Paris Exposition (AKA the World's Fair). More than 100 artists submitted designs, but the Eiffel et Compagnie architecture firm won.

2. But the owner (Gustave Eiffel) didn't actually design the tower.

It was one of his structural engineers, Maurice Koechlin, who came up with the concept &mdash although he doesn't clearly often receive credit where credit's due. (Should have locked in those naming rights, buddy.)

3. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the lattice tower.

The final design called for 18,000 pieces of puddle iron and an incredible 2.5 million rivets. Admittedly, that sounds a lot more difficult than the 3-D Eiffel tower puzzle we had as kids.

4. The plan was to tear it down after 20 years.

Quelle horreur! But yep, it wasn't supposed to be permanent. However city officials kept it since it was a valuable radiotelegraph station. Not because it was a beautiful, iconic landmark or anything.

5. It played an important role in World War I.

By intercepting many enemy radio communications. Later during WWII, it was almost demolished when Hitler ordered it to be destroyed, but that acting general refused to obey.

6. It used to be the tallest building in the world.

For 41 years it was reigning champ at 1,050 feet tall, but the Chrysler Building in New York City surpassed it in 1930.

7. There are more than 40 replicas around the world.

Including a half scale version in Las Vegas, Nevada and a full scale in Tokyo, Japan. Fittingly, the one in Paris, Texas has a cowboy hat on top.

8. It shrinks when it's cold outside.

About six inches in total! It also sways two to three inches in the wind.

9. Almost 250 million people have visited it since it opened.

And approximately seven million per year, making it the most visited monument in the world. Each visitor can choose between taking the 1,665 steps to the top or using the elevator.

10. It gets a fresh coat of paint every seven years.

Which is no easy feat: It requires 60 tons of paint, 1,500 brushes, and a team of 25 painters.

11. There's an apartment on the third floor.

It was originally created for Gustave Eiffel as private quarters for entertaining, but now the public can view it when they visit.

12. It takes 20,000 lightbulbs to make the tower sparkle every night.

And it takes 43 technicians to change them (woof). That explains why the bulbs are only changed to different colors on very special occasions.


Eiffel Tower Turns 125. Here are 10 Things You Did Not Know About it

On March 31, 1889, workers riveted the last of more than 18,000 iron pieces into place to complete construction of the Eiffel Tower. To inaugurate the magnificent metallic structure, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, climbed its 1,710 steps and unfurled a French tricolor flag from its pinnacle. As the Eiffel Tower turns 125 years old, explore 10 surprising facts about the Parisian icon.

1. The Eiffel Tower was once yellow.
In fashionable Paris, even the Eiffel Tower must keep up with style trends. Over the decades, the “Iron Lady” has changed her looks with the application of a spectrum of paint colors. When it opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower sported a reddish-brown color. A decade later, it was coated in yellow paint. The tower was also yellow-brown and chestnut brown before the adoption of the current, specially mixed “Eiffel Tower Brown” in 1968. Every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep her looking young. The tower is painted in three shades, progressively lighter with elevation, in order to augment the structure’s silhouette against the canvas of the Parisian sky.

2. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.
Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.

3. For four decades it was the world’s tallest structure.
At 986 feet, the Eiffel Tower was nearly double the height of the world’s previous tallest structure—the 555-foot Washington Monument—when it opened in 1889. It would not be surpassed until the completion of the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Although the Eiffel Tower eclipsed the Chrysler Building in height with the addition of an antenna in 1957, it still trailed behind another Gotham skyscraper, the Empire State Building.

4. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s largest billboard.
When dusk fell across Paris between 1925 and 1936, a quarter-million colored bulbs attached to three sides of the tower’s steeple illuminated to spell the 100-foot vertical letters of the French automobile company Citroën. The advertisement blazed so brightly that it was visible from nearly 20 miles away, and Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon when he landed in Paris on his 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight.

5. Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark.
When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. (Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.)

6. Parisian artists petitioned against the “monstrous” structure.
Although now a worldwide symbol of romance, the radical design of the Eiffel Tower inspired anything but love in the hearts of 300 prominent Parisian artists and intellectuals who signed the following manifesto that ran in the Le Temps newspaper on Valentine’s Day in 1887: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital, of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.” The screed even said that the “gigantic black factory chimney” was so loathed that “even commercial-minded America does not want” it.

7. Radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction.
Since Eiffel footed 80 percent of the tower’s construction costs, he was permitted to have the structure stand for 20 years in order to recoup his investment before it passed into the hands of the Parisian government, which planned to disassemble it for scrap metal. Seeking a way to prove the structure’s strategic utility in a bid to save it, Eiffel erected an antenna atop the tower and financed experiments with wireless telegraphy that began in 1898. The value of the tower in sending and receiving wireless messages, particularly for the French military, caused the city to renew Eiffel’s concession when it expired in 1909. Today, more than 100 antennae on the tower beam radio and television broadcasts around the world.

8. The Eiffel Tower contributed to the capture of Mata Hari.
During World War I, the French military used the tower’s wireless station to intercept enemy messages from Berlin. In 1914, the French were able to organize a counter-attack during the Battle of the Marne after secretly learning that the German Army was halting its advance. Three years later, the station atop the Eiffel Tower intercepted a coded message between Germany and Spain that offered details about “Operative H-21.” Based in part on this message, the French arrested, convicted and executed Mata Hari for spying on behalf of Germany.

9. The tower housed a scientific laboratory.
Eiffel engraved the names of 72 of the country’s scientists in the tower’s first-level gallery, and atop the structure he installed a laboratory that was used by himself and French scientists to study astronomy, meteorology, aerodynamics and physiology and test experiments such as Foucault’s Pendulum. In 1909 Eiffel installed an aerodynamic wind tunnel at the base of the tower that carried out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles.

10. Daredevils have died attempting aerial feats at the tower.
Using everything from parachutes to bungee cords, adventurers for decades have used the tower to stage daring stunts. Not all the thrill-seekers have defied death, however. In 1912, French tailor Franz Reichelt attempted to fly from the tower’s first floor with a spring-loaded parachute suit but crashed 187 feet to the ground instead. Fourteen years later, aviator Leon Collot was killed attempting to fly his plane beneath the span of the tower when it became entangled in the aerial from the wireless station and crashed in a ball of flame.


10 things you didn't know about the Eiffel Tower on its 125th birthday

It takes a lot of primping and priming to look good at 125 years old. Just ask the Eiffel Tower, arguably the most recognizable silhouette in the world, which marks the milestone March 31.

When Gustave Eiffel built the latticed tower for the World Fair in 1889, it was supposed to be a temporary edifice, to be torn down in 20 years.

Today, the iconic French landmark is the most visited paid monument in the world, attracting more than 7 million visitors a year, 75 percent of whom are foreign tourists.

Here are a few fun facts and figures about the Iron Lady:

1. Strange but true: In a commitment ceremony in 2007, an American woman ‘married’ the Eiffel Tower. Erika La Tour Eiffel (she changed her name) suffers from ‘Objectum-Sexual’ a condition in which people fall in love with inanimate objects.

2. Aging requires no small amount of cosmetic touch-ups: every seven years, the Iron Lady undergoes a paint job that requires up to 60 tons of paint to protect her from rust.

3. The Eiffel Tower will shrink and grow by up to 15 cm (6 inches) with the fluctuating temperatures.

4. Every year, the combined distance traveled by the elevator lifts works out to be about 103,000 km a year -- or 2.5 times the circumference of the Earth.

5. Did you know: technically it’s illegal to publish photos of the illuminated tower at night. Permission and rights must be obtained from the "Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.”

6. The tower is open every day. In a country that shuts down every Sunday, the tower is perhaps the only thing open 365 days a year including Christmas.

7. After the French, Italians, Spaniards and Americans make up the biggest visitors to the Eiffel Tower.

9. Eiffel paid homage to the great French men of science by engraving the names of 72 scientists, engineers and mathematicians on the four sides of the tower.

10. The nightly five-minute light show, which begins on the hour every hour from nightfall until 1 am, requires 20,000 light bulbs.


The Eiffel Tower’s first floor has long been a magnet for daredevils. In 1912, Franz Reichelt jumped to his death from the platform while attempting to demonstrate a wearable parachute, while in 1926 Léon Collot tried to fly his plane beneath the first floor arch and crashed.

The Eiffel Tower has spawned many replicas, including in Pakistan, Russia and the USA but the earliest building to take inspiration from the structure was the Blackpool Tower. It was built five years after its French cousin, after the town’s mayor demanded something similarly grand beside the Lancashire seaside.


1. It was originally designed to be only 130 meters tall.

At first, the TV tower was supposed to be much smaller and located in another place – Müggelberge. The first outbuildings were even built, but then the Ministry of Internal Affairs realized that the tower would be in the flight path of planned Schönefeld Airport. The authorities were forced to look for other locations. They considered building it on the site of the demolished Berlin Palace, but it was impossible because of the sandy ground, so the location of the future tower moved nearby with the new plan to build the tower at Alexanderplatz.


Things to do around the Eiffel Tower

When people are visiting Paris, the most important thing to do while in Paris is obviously to see the Eiffel Tower, the greatest landmarks of the City of Lights. It is not by chance that this monument is so remarkable. 250 million people have visited the iron structure since its opening and over 7 million people visit it annually making this the most visited monument in Europe. Come meet our Iron Lady.

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1888 by architect Gustave Eiffel and stands since the Paris World Exhibition in 1889. Once you are face to face with the most iconic monument of Paris, you will be impressed by its size and greatness, it even might bring tears to your eyes.

The Eiffel Tower is 324 metres tall, 125 metres wide and weights over ten thousand tonnes! It has 1665 stairs. Climb them if you are brave enough. But you can do what most people do and just take the lift.

Since you’ll be visiting this awesome Paris landmark (Learn about our free Landmarks Tour here), you should know a few things you can do inside of it and around it. That is why I’m sharing with you things to do around the Eiffel Tower!

Where is the Eiffel Tower?

The Eiffel Tower is located at the Champs de Mars on Avenue Anatole,5 in the seventh arrondissement in Paris. There’s no way you will miss seeing this gigantic monument when you visit Paris. When you will be landing in Paris, you will see the Iron Lady from the airplane even on a cloudy day.

There are plenty of ways to get to the Eiffel Tower, but I will let you know the best ones!

The easiest way to get to Eiffel Tower is obviously by taking the RER C train to Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel station but if I were you I would take one of the other options I’m about to share with you.

Although it is the closest metro station to the tower, it usually is very crowded and since you may not be used to the Parisian public transports you might get lost and confused.

An alternative way is to get on the metro line 8 and take the exit at Ecole Militaire or the metro line 6 and take the exit at Bir-Hakeim. By taking this route, you will avoid having the trouble to wait for a direct metro to Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel and you will also be closer to the Champs de Mars gardens. You will be able to take a walk until you reach the Eiffel Tower, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful ways to visit all the area around the Eiffel Tower.

The option I prefer is to take the Trocadero metro exit on metro line 9 or 6 and from there visit the Trocadéro first and then head to the Eiffel Tower. By doing this, you will also have the best view possible from afar of the Eiffel Tower, because the Trocadéro is on higher ground than the Champs de Mars. This way you will also have the possibility to visit a lot more things around the Eiffel Tower, while still being near it.

Avoid taking a taxi! This area is so frequented by tourists that it will nearly be impossible to get there by car. But if you really must do so, be prepared for long queues in traffic, taking about forty minutes or more to get to the Eiffel Tower, depending on where you are located in Paris.

Climb the stairs and learn its history

Climb the stairs and reach the second floor! Wander around the center of the tower’s metallic structure at your own pace and contemplate the fantastic iron piece of art and its history.

Another thing to do in the Eiffel Tower would be of course a guided tour to learn everything about the most famous monument of Paris.

Otherwise, you can stay a little while on the first floor to enjoy an overview of its history through different illustrations of the Eiffel Tower evolution, photographs, engravings, drawings, films and interactive activities.

You don’t want to miss the panoramic view from the second floor, with Paris at your feet. From the right bank to the left bank (Learn more about right bank vs left bank), the Eiffel Tower offers you the most unique view over the major landmarks of the city of lights.

However, be prepared to queue (read tips for your visit here) : it can take up to 4 hours to access to the Eiffel Tower. Even if you arrive early in the morning or at the end of the day, you won’t be alone ! Our advice would be to visit the Eiffel Tower with a local guide (more informaton and tickets here). These tickets are more expensive than normal tickets, but the Eiffel Tower is a must-see in Paris and you don’t want to spend the whole day waiting in a line.

Inside the Eiffel Tower, there are actually many things to see and experience. As you go up the tower, you will find out everything you want to know about the Eiffel Tower: from its origins and history to the construction evolution and all the renovations it went through all these years.

Enjoy the Eiffel Tower at night

Some say the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is at night when you can appreciate a calmer atmosphere as well as the incredible illuminations. After sunset, the Eiffel Tower sparkles with thousands of lights and it’s open til midnight!

>> Skip the line to the top of the Eiffel Tower with a tour guide

>> Enjoy a very special experience from the summit of Paris #1 landmark

Have a fancy night on the Eiffel Tower

If you’re looking for a chic experience, you can enjoy a glass of champagne at the very top of the Eiffel Tower! Nestling into the very structure of the tower, the bar offers you a choice of a glass of either rosé or white champagne, served as chilled as you like. The bar is open until 10 pm and serves drinks for a cost between €12 and €21.

And finally, for the gourmet among you, on the first floor, there’s a restaurant called Restaurant 58 that serves lunches and dinners high in the sky! Its meals start at 39 euros and children’s menu at 15 euros. The food and atmosphere are extremely pleasant!

Enjoy wine and cheese at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is surrounded by big lawns where Parisians love to sit during spring and summer. One of the best things to do around the Eiffel Tower is to have a French picnic with cheese, wine and a baguette. Just next to the Eiffel Tower is one of the best streets in Paris to buy food. It’s called rue Cler (read more about food shops in Rue Cler). In this street, you will find the best products Paris has to offer. Then just bring all your purchases to those lawns of le Champs de Mars and you’ll have the most Parisian evening ever.

Enjoy the Rodin Museum

The Rodin museum is one of the most celebrated sculpture museum of Europe. Rodin was one of the last masters of classical sculpture of its time. He revolutionized art. He made some of the most famous sculptures ever. We all know his most famous piece of art: the Thinker. His work is full of feelings and I can assure you it is a quite moving experience to discover Rodin’s art for the first time.

The Rodin museum is in a walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, only about 15 minutes. The museum also has one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris. It is definitely a must-do around the Eiffel Tower.

Have a boat cruise

The Eiffel Tower is located just by the river. So one of the things to do around the Eiffel Tower is to get into a boat cruise. Boat cruises are not a tourist trap. They are a touristic activity but it’s definitely worth your money. It’s an amazing way to look at Paris. To see Notre Dame, the Islands, the bridges and hundreds of other details that will make you love Paris even more is one of the best experiences you’ll enjoy while in Paris.

Plus you get to be seated during the whole trip, enjoying the Seine River, the landmarks and taking the best photos of your stay in Paris!

You should also know that at the end of each of our free Paris walking tours, you’ll be handed a Perks Package. Inside the package, you’ll find many discounts that will make your visit to Paris even more special and unique, including discounts for the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf boat cruises.

Now you know some of the things to do around the Eiffel Tower. Seeing and visiting the gigantic iron structure will bring many different kinds of feelings and emotions to you. The Eiffel Tower will remind you how little you actually are in this world. You will understand how important it is to live for the moment.

There are many things to do around the Eiffel Tower. Once you’ve fully enjoyed the iron structure, you should relax and have lunch at the Champs de Mars, just beneath the Eiffel Tower. Then walk around the area surrounding the tower. If you want a bonus tip: You should also know that if you come to Paris during Christmas, because during Christmas time, there’s a Christmas market just in front of the Eiffel Tower. It has many stands and a nice ice rink. Parisians love to go there with their kids during the holidays!

A bonus fun fact about the Eiffel Tower

During cold weather, the tower shrinks about six inches due to the type of metal it is made of. During summer, it grows again but never more than those six inches!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! If you want to know a little more about our Iron Lady, read this article which is about some of the best fun facts about this iconic Parisian monument! I hope to see you soon in one of our tours! Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything!

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Clémence

Clémence grew up in the south of Paris. She studies politics and history at Sciences Po, in Saint-Germain. From long visits at the Louvre to carefree afternoons on the banks, she has childhood memories in every corner of Paris. Theater, cinema, photography, macarons, cheese, wine, exhibits, museums, parties. Paris is everything to her!


10 things you may not know about Cocoa and Rockledge

Think you know everything about Cocoa and Rockledge? Test that knowledge. Here are 10 things you may not know, smarty pants. Video by Jessica Saggio

Think you know everything there is to know about Cocoa and Rockledge? Let's put that knowledge to the test. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

This is the fifth part of a series dedicated to highlighting the many interesting facts found in cities across the Space Coast. Part 1: 10 things you probably don't know about the Space Coast can be found here. Part 2: Titusville, can be found here. Part 3: Merritt Island can be found here. Part 4: Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral can be found here.

In the early days of Brevard County, it was Cocoa and Rockledge that really got things rolling here on the Space Coast.

In fact, Rockledge was technically the first incorporated city in the county. But everyone knows that, right?

And Cocoa, which wasn't incorporated much later, wasn't really supposed to be called Cocoa and (allegedly) got its name from a shipment of cocoa powder after the postmaster rejected its request to be "Indian River City."

Everybody knows that, too, right?

The area, known for its great hunting and beautiful waterway, attracted pioneers and visitors who braved the mosquitoes, the terrain and the infamous Florida heat, and thus, the Space Coast was born.

But what isn't widely known about this historically rich areas of Brevard County?

Here are 10 things you may not know about Cocoa and Rockledge

1. Florida armadillos originated in Cocoa

We can thank Cocoa for these little creatures in our local ecosystem. (Photo: Kevin Robertson)

Next time your car finds itself playing chicken with an armadillo in the middle of the night, raise a fist and let out a curse to. Cocoa.

The nocturnal, somewhat destructive and roadkill-prone armadillo is not native to the Sunshine State and we can thank Cocoa for its existence here in Florida.

According to the book "Images of America: Cocoa and Rocklege" we can blame Gus Edwards, a prominent lawyer who is credited for developing Cocoa Beach. Edwards also developed the Cocoa Zoo in the 1920s, which was not among his greatest accomplishments. Edwards, who had lived in Texas prior to his time in Cocoa, brought the Longhorn State's iconic armadillo to serve as the star of the Cocoa zoo. That was, until the zoo went broke and they released all the armadillos into the wild. Bada-bing bada-boom, now we have armadillos.

It turns out, though, they fit in just fine around these parts.

"They seem to be pretty well immersed in Florida ecosystem. They didn’t displace a lot of other species, they are a food source for a lot of things and they keep other things under control," said Keith Winsten, executive director of the Brevard Zoo. "They are incredibly charming articles, they don’t bite."

However, "when faced with an automobile, their escape technique is to jump up which is a really bad idea."

Oh, and if you see one tearing up your yard, there's a good chance you've got grubs in your grass, said Winsten, so lay off the fertilizer.

2. We have a reason to root for the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final

Ryan Carpenter, center, started his career here in Rockledge as part of the Space Coast Hurricanes junior hockey team. He now plays center for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo: Courtesy Rick Ninko)

Get on your black and gold, Brevard, because we have a direct link to this year's Stanley Cup Final and he plays center for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Meet Ryan Carpenter, the superstar hockey player who trained right here in Rockledge at the Space Coast Iceplex. Carpenter was born in Oviedo, but played for the Space Coast Hurricanes junior team when he was 15. Generally players on that team are 17, 18 and 19 years old, said former Iceplex owner Rick Ninko, but Carpenter stood out as a top-notch player even back then. The Space Coast Hurricanes went on to win the national championship for the Junior C level, a huge milestone for Florida hockey.

"It was a big deal at the time because it changed the face of hockey in that all of sudden Florida was being recognized as a place that produced good hockey players, and Ryan was one of them," said Ninko.

Ryan Carpenter #40 of the Vegas Golden Knights takes a shot against the Washington Capitals during the first period in Game Four of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

Carpenter left Florida to play USHL junior hockey in Iowa, followed by collegiate hockey at Bowling Green University, minor leagues in Massachusetts and eventually the Vegas Golden Knights, a brand new team in the National Hockey League this season. In true Cinderella story fashion, the team is currently competing for the 2018 Stanley Cup against the Washington Capitals.

3. Rockledge High School was once Cocoa High School (let me explain)

Before 1970 when Cocoa High School moved into its current location, it was actually in Rockledge. (Photo: Jessica Saggio, FLORIDA TODAY)

There's a reason Rockledge and Cocoa high schools have such fierce rivalry and it can all be traced back to turf. The current Rockledge High School building was actually Cocoa High School at one time. Yes, Cocoa High School was in Rockledge and then moved to where it currently sits off Range Road. Once Cocoa high moved, Rockledge high took its place.

Cocoa High School was at the Rockledge location until 1970 and moved into its new facility because of capacity issues, said Dane Theodore, assistant superintendent of facilities for Brevard Public Schools.

The two schools have since formed an intense rivalry and just last year Rockledge beat Cocoa in football for the first time in 11 years.

4. Clearlake isn't just a road

Students hang out in Clear Lake, the actual lake, before the college started to discourage it due to the alligators. This photo is from the school's annual raft races in the lake. (Photo: Courtesy Eastern Florida State College)

In the 1950s, 60s and 70s not everyone in the Cocoa and Rockledge areas had a pool, but they did have Clear Lake. As in, Clear Lake, the actual lake, not the road that runs through town.

Those who grew up in the Cocoa area recall a time when Clear Lake, the lake currently that sits on the Eastern Florida State College campus, was a place for swimming and parties. It was perhaps the most popular local watering hole. It was also once a source of drinking water for the city of Cocoa, but that was (fortunately) before it became a community swimming pool.

FLORIDA TODAY asked about Clear Lake in a popular Cocoa Facebook group and within minutes, hundreds of comments poured in sharing good times experienced at the lake. Some noted they learned how to swim in the lake, others camped there and some had picnics. And yes, it was actually clear at one point. There was even a slide, a dock, ropes and lifeguards who kept a look out for alligators. A sandy beach faded away and EFSC buildings were constructed over time. The student center now sits atop what used to be the sandy beach.

"Clearlake was a central point of recreation for families. We swam to the platform dock to dive, took swimming lessons, and I remember fondly, rode our horses across on hot summer days," said Lisa Gurri, among dozens of other reminiscent comments on the thread. "Clearlake was fed by several springs on the west side and an artesian well fountain near then BCC Student Center, it was very clear where the Spring head fed the lake and we all cohabited with the gators."

Many also went to watch the "submarine races," commenters joked.

Swimming at the popular hang out stopped in the 80s as then-Brevard Community College built up its campus around the lake and signs warned of alligators.

Swimmers in Clear Lake. (Photo: Courtesy David Rollins)

5. There's a castle in Rockledge

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Rockledge is the only city in Brevard that can boast it has a castle. Yes, a castle. And a pink one at that.

Nestled along Valencia Road in Rockledge sits a 3,561-square-foot castle. It features four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, which is quite small for castle stands, but hey, it's Brevard not the Irish countryside.

But there are perks to having a Florida castle. This one comes with a pool, ornate fountain, private courtyard, mangoes and other fruit trees and a large screened-in back porch, according to a past FLORIDA TODAY report.

The 1920s-era home was completely remodeled and recently was sold. It was listed for $400,000. There were multiple offers and the house sold over asking price, said Shane Burgman of the Carpenter/Kessel Homeselling team, which listed the property.

The Rockledge castle. (Photo: Courtesy DeWayne Carpenter)

6. The Cocoa water tower's patriotic design has a tie to . Greece?

The Cocoa water tower's stars and stripes were originally painted as a gift to the city from a Greek immigrant. (Photo: Rik Jesse/FLORIDA TODAY, Rik Jesse, FLORIDA TODAY)

Perhaps the most iconic landmark in Cocoa, the patriotic water tower that sits near the corner of Peachtree Street and US 1 doesn't just look the part. It's history is intertwined with, well, love of country. Surely, the giant American flags give that away.

Although the water tower was repainted in 2015, the prominent American flag design dates back to 1976 during the country's bicentennial celebration. The flags are there thanks to Demetrios Dourakos, a Greek immigrant who wanted to show his gratitude to the country by painting the flags free of charge in honor of the bicentennial. Dourakos owned the Royal Painting Company on Merritt Island and the job was estimated to cost about $10,000 at the time.

Of course, over time, the tower has needed refurbishments, including the latest upgrades in 2015. The water tower's latest renovation earned the tower bragging rights. It was crowned the 2015 Tank of the Year and appeared as Miss January in a calendar published by Tnemec Co. Inc.

Dourakos also painted the giant flag on the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, according to FLORIDA TODAY archives.

Fun fact, said Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III, no matter which direction you are traveling, you can see a flag.

"The tower needed an enormous amount of work, but we didn’t want to lose the flags. We refurbished the tower to kind of represent how we refurbished the water system," said Parrish. "We made the flags smaller, added another flag and redialed it so when you come over the bridge from Merritt Island you see a flag, north you see a flag and south you see a flag and so on."

7. "River Road" was originally a Native American trail

Indian River Drive, Riverside Drive or Rockledge Drive, depending on how far south you go, was one of the first main thoroughfares on land in Brevard County. Primary transportation during the early days of Cocoa and Rockledge was by boat, but thanks to Native Americans and animals who resided before the area's pioneers, the riverside path was pretty much already formed.

"The River Road connecting Cocoa and Rockledge was originally a dirt Native American trail. Because it followed the Indian River shoreline, it was convenient for the early settles who homesteaded there," according to "Images of America: Cocoa and Rockledge."

8. Cocoa has a link to the Beverly Hillbillies

Buddy Ebsen starred as Jed Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies." Ebsen taught dance with his sisters in Cocoa, prepping young boys and girls for the Orange Jubilee. The Orange Jubilee Ball was a big celebration hosted in the Cocoa area. Ebsen eventually opened the Ebsen School of Dance in Orlando. (Photo: NBC, NBC via Getty Images)

Save the jokes about Mims and Scottsmoor, because it's actually Cocoa that can be most associated with the Beverly Hillbillies.

Star of the show Buddy Ebsen, who played the role of Jed Clampett, taught dance with his sisters in Cocoa, prepping young boys and girls for the Orange Jubilee. The Orange Jubilee Ball was a big celebration hosted in the Cocoa area.

"The school is known to have been active in the late 1930s and early 1950s," according to "Images of America: Cocoa and Rockledge."

Ebsen eventually opened the Ebsen School of Dance in Orlando.

9. Rockledge's glass coffin legend is . dun dun dun . false

A FLORIDA TODAY report from 1968 that features Pluckebaum's side of this fable. (Photo: Florida Today archives)

For decades, long timers on the Space Coast have passed down the tale of the legendary "glass coffin" on Rockledge Drive. The story goes that a young girl died because she drowned in the Indian River. Or was it because she got hit by a car? Or because she died of a sleeping sickness? Take your pick. Either way, she died and her father didn't bury her. Instead, he put her in a glass coffin that rested inside a mausoleum facing the water so she could always look out upon her beloved Indian River. A super weird story if you go with the "drowning" angle. Pretty morbid. "Hey, look at where you died . for eternity."

The story was the basis for likely hundreds of "truth or dare" escapades, as many have considered it a thrill to search for the glass coffin.

Well, if you have a bubble, go ahead and pop it because the truth is that the story is completely fabricated. There was no young girl who died, and no, she doesn't haunt the river in a Victorian dress. Sorry, Brevard, the spook is a spoof.

In a FLORIDA TODAY report from December 1969, the tale was investigated. It turns out that the owner of the mausoleum, Jerome Pluckebaum, was interviewed about the local legend before his death. The only thing true about the story is that the mausoleum existed. Inside, rests Pluckebaum's wife, whose final wishes were that she "stay forever" at their winter home in Rockledge.

"She was later joined by his parents, a sister and in time, Plukebaum himself," the article reads.

"This is my home," said Pluckebaum. "I don't know how the stories got started. The only guess I have is when I built the mausoleum, a lot of people around here had never heard of a mausoleum."

The mausoleum has since been moved.

10. Cocoa "The trout capital of the world"

Cocoa once touted it was the "trout capitol of the world." Their spelling, not ours. (Photo: Courtesy Henry Parrish III)

Titusville may claim to be the redfish capital of the world, but apparently all the trout live in Cocoa.

In the 1950s, then-Mayor S. Gary Bennett Jr. was working to generate tourism and interest in Cocoa. His plan? Market it as the trout capital of the world with a giant parade float, said current Mayor Henry Parrish III.

"He would take that float and put it in the parades as far as Atlanta, Georgia," said Parrish. "He took it to Orlando, everywhere he could."

But was it accurate? Well, not technically, said Parrish, there was no real science to back up the claim.

Still, the Indian River Lagoon was a hotbed for catching trout, he said, so few fisherman left disappointed.


Brennan McPherson

When I first heard the story of the Tower of Babel as a kid, it took everything in me to not burst out laughing. I mean, come on. Some guy named Nimrod builds a tower that he thinks is going to reach to the heavens (what a nimrod) and God punishes him? That’s funny.

But is that really the story? Ho-ho! Upon closer look, we see that’s not quite what happened! And neither is the story any laughing matter. So, let’s dive through 10 facts you might not know about the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis:

1. The entire account of the Tower of Babel is in Genesis 11:1-9, but additional details and references are found from Genesis 9 through Genesis 11:26. There’s WAY too much here for just one point, so suffice it to say that to get a true understanding of the events in Genesis 11:1-9, you have to dig deep and cross-reference the surrounding Scripture text heavily. Because Genesis is written as what seems to be a poetic historical account, the events of the flood in Genesis 6-9 directly impact the events of the Tower of Babel. As do the troubles between Noah and his children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In addition, the text of Genesis 9 through Genesis 11 is not perfectly chronological. Noah’s death is talked about in Genesis 9, and yet Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. This is part of the reason why we have to read carefully, and cross-reference often, to make sense of the nuanced details in the story.

2. The story of the Tower of Babel wouldn’t have happened without Noah getting drunk in Genesis 9. In Genesis 9:18-29, we are given a general overview of the breakdown of Noah’s family, and the end of Noah’s life. Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk, then gets naked (that’s weird), and his son Ham sees him naked and ridicules him to the family. Noah wakes up, hears what happened, and curses Ham’s lineage instead of directly cursing Ham, because as a prophet of God, Noah doesn’t presume to curse whom God has blessed (Genesis 9:1). This curse splits the family, and Noah’s failure to be a spiritual leader in his family is part of what allows the events of the tower of Babel to happen, because the Tower was most likely a religious structure made to aid in the worship of the celestial bodies (i.e. sun, stars, moon, and stuff). If Noah had not allowed a schism in his family, he would have been more capable of speaking against occurrences of idolatry. Seeing this connection, along with the next point, was what gave rise to the plot for my full-length novelization of the story titled, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man.

3. Noah was almost certainly alive during the events of the tower of Babel. This blew my mind. In Genesis 9:28-29, we’re told that Noah lived 350 years after the flood, and died when he was 950 years old (his bunions must have been downright epic). If we flip ahead to Genesis 11:10, we find several VERY interesting clues that help us piece together a reasonably accurate timeline. Shem’s son Arpachshad (what a mouthful) was born two years after the flood. If we assume that every descendant afterward is a father-son relationship (meaning that there’s no skipping generations—which we see evidence of in other genealogies in Scripture), we end up finding out that a guy named Peleg was born 101 years after the flood. We’re also told Peleg lived 239 years, so he died 340 years after the flood (ten years before Noah died). We’re also told in the mirrored genealogy in Genesis 10 that the earth was “divided” in Peleg’s lifetime. We know that this doesn’t refer to a continental divide, or the flood, because the flood happened 101 years before Peleg was born, and a continental divide would have caused worldwide flooding again (which God promised to never do). The only other divide we’re told about in Scripture is the divide in languages and countries from the events at the Tower of Babel. Thus, we can safely assume Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel.

4. Abram could have been alive during the events of the tower of Babel, and was definitely alive during Noah’s lifetime. Following the timeline given in Genesis 11 (along with the assumption we already talked about in point 3 above), we see that Abram was born 292 years after the flood. This is 58 years before Noah died, and 48 years before Peleg died. It’s therefore reasonable to assume that Abram could have both known about (or been present at) the Tower of Babel event, and that he could have been directly discipled by Noah himself, learning about the beginning of the universe and the world’s greatest cataclysm from someone who had experienced the violent baptism of the world first-hand. In addition, Noah’s father, Lamech, could have known Seth (Adam’s son), and gotten a second-hand account of the garden of Eden. Not hard to see how an accurate oral tradition about the beginnings of the universe could have been passed down to Abram’s lineage and written in some form in his day (because they definitely had Semitic cuneiform writing back during the Tower of Babel days).

5. The Tower of Babel story could have happened anywhere from 101 years after the flood, to 340 years after the flood. This is interesting for several reasons. The closer the events were to the timing of the flood, the more we question what in the world Noah was doing during the events of the Tower of Babel. Why wasn’t the prophet of God stopping the world from gathering in rebellion against God with blatant idolatry? This was the provocative “What-if” question that gave rise to my novel, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man, which is (you guessed it) largely about Noah’s involvement (and failure) in the events at the Tower of Babel. But in addition to that, we can also see that the population size could have varied widely, from a thousand or so people, to tens of thousands of people.

6. Just like the hundreds of flood myths in myriad cultures around the world, there are countless myths about the confusion of the world’s languages. Many of these language myths arose through oral tradition in areas that were untouched by the biblical text, which strongly indicates that there was a real event that spawned the disparate accounts. Some of the accounts include an Australian myth that attributes the language split to cannibalism, an African tale where madness struck people during a famine and they all spoke different languages and scattered, and a Polynesian tale that talks of a God who, in his fury, scattered the builders of a tower, broke its foundation, and made the builders speak in many different languages. Pretty crazy, right?

7. It’s likely Nimrod didn’t build Babel OR the Tower. In fact, it’s almost certain that Nimrod didn’t build either, though he was likely involved in the process. We’re told in Genesis 10:9 that Nimrod was primarily a hunter (a man of violence), and that the “beginning of his kingdom” was Babel, among other cities, before he went and built Nineveh, among others. If he built Babel, it likely would’ve said so there. In addition, the actual account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 cites that the people communally said to one another, “let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens.” There was no one person who was commanding the building, but rather a group deciding in unison. Again, Nimrod could have been involved in this process. Or, he could have come to power afterward.

8. The trinity was involved at the events of the Tower of Babel. Traditional interpretation of Genesis 11, and God’s words saying, “Let us go down and see the tower” that mankind had built, is that Jesus, God (Yahweh), and the Holy Spirit were present and involved in the event. This makes sense with our New Testament understanding of the trinity for several reasons. First, Jesus is the Word, and his relation to God’s spoken revelation is inseparable throughout Scripture. Second, the world was created through Jesus (John 1:3), so he and the Holy Spirit are shown as involved in everything God has done from the beginning (“Spirit hovered over the face of the waters”). We also know the Holy Spirit’s involvement in human speech is profound from the account at Pentecost in the Book of Acts, which seems to be a sort of divine symbolic reversal of the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel. Furthermore, if God was speaking in the plural to beings unified with him and who needed to be involved at the Tower, he would have been speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If God took a physical form in some way, traditional interpretation says that it would likely have been as a humanoid prefigurement of the Christ. Now we’re getting kinda “out there,” but this is important because we can then see Christ and the Holy Spirit at work in this ancient, Old Testament story, along with links to their work in the New Testament church and the covenant we have with God under Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. Because Noah was a type of Adam. The world began anew with him through the baptism of the world. And we know that Christ is the last Adam, the undoing of Adam’s mistakes, and that his baptism is by the Spirit, not by water, which only pointed ahead to the baptism we experience through Christ’s blood. Baptism came to represent the death of the old world because of the literal destruction of the old world through water at the almighty hand of God. In this way, we see powerful symbolic connections and importance layered into the Tower of Babel story, and the lives of those involved.

9. The tower of Babel was likely finished when the languages were confused. In Genesis 11:5, it says God went down to see the city and the tower which the children of man “had built.” In addition, In Genesis 11:8, it claims God spread them out from there over the face of the earth, and that the people left off building the city (but not the tower, which implies the tower was already finished).

10. For the last time, the Tower of Babel story is NOT about technological advancement. Baked bricks were no new technology. In fact, though modern sociologists who don’t hold the Bible to be trustworthy often say that iron-working didn’t exist until much later, the Bible claims that in the first couple generations of humanity’s existence (long before the flood), humanity was building cities, creating pipe and stringed instruments, forging bronze and iron, and cultivating livestock (Genesis 4:19-22). So, we know that brick-making and using mortar were no great technological advancements. Especially after reminding ourselves that Noah (who was still alive) built the world’s largest wooden boat, waterproofed it with pitch, and survived the greatest cataclysm to ever strike the earth. The point of the story of the Tower of Babel is to illustrate man’s pride (wanting to make a name for themselves separate from their identity as children of God – i.e. “children of man”), along with man’s tendency toward idolatry, and God’s unlimited power coupled with his mercy and gentleness. The confusion of languages was a brilliant, non-violent way of disrupting their prideful plans. All in all, however, this story is a fascinating view into human nature, family dynamics, mankind’s purpose and ambition, and God’s personhood. If you want a more detailed historical study on the Tower of Babel, check out Bodie Hodge’s book, Tower of Babel, which is a careful study of the historical details, and which is endorsed by Answers in Genesis.

Before working on the full-length novelization of the story of the Tower of Babel (BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Mankind), I didn’t know any of this. This is part of the reason why I love writing biblical fiction. It drives me back to the text of the Bible in a way nothing else does. I hope reading it does the same for you! Blessings, and thanks for reading. And if you want to pick up a copy of the book, you can do so here: GET BABEL NOW



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