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The Eiffel Tower in numbers

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The Eiffel Tower is illuminated before the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display in Paris. ©Reuters The Eiffel Tower is illuminated before the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display in Paris. ©Reuters

 The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world that charges for entrance. Here is a factfile on France's iconic building:

-  Opened during the World's Fair in 1889 -- the centenary of the French Revolution -- the 324-metre (1,070-foot) tower remained the world's tallest for 40 years, until it was overtaken by New York's Chrysler Building in 1929.

-  It took two years, two months and five days to build. It was meant to be dismantled after only 20 years, but was saved because its creator, the engineer Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), had pushed it as a major base for scientific innovation, particularly in early radio transmissions.

The new 200 French Francs banknote represent French architect Gustave Eiffel. ©Reuters

- There are 1,665 steps to the top of the tower. The first platform is at 57 metres, the second at 115 metres and the third at 276 metres.

- Open every day of the year, the distinctive structure has had more than 250 million visitors since it opened. Some 6,740,000 visitors made their way to the top in 2013 (up 7.5 percent on 2012), of which 87.5 percent were foreigners. It employs 308 people.

- Most visitors come from France (12.5 percent) followed by Americans (8.5 percent), British (7.1 percent), Italians (6.7 percent) and Germans (5.7 percent).

- Authorities are planning to build an underground reception area to ease the wait for the long queues of people waiting to take the lift -- or the stairs -- to one of its upper floors.

- The tower has 18,000 iron parts, not including 2.5 million rivets, weighing a total of 10,100 tonnes.

- Around one thousand of those tonnes were pared off its structure during a five-year renovation programme launched in 1980.

- By night, a pair of rotating spotlights beam out from the top of the tower, visible up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the French capital. After 11:00 pm, 20,000 twinkling bulbs switch on for ten minutes every hour until 1:00 or 2:00 am, depending on the season.

Lights illuminate the Eiffel Tower at sunset. ©Reuters

- The tower's turnover was 73 millions euros ($91 million) in 2013, and it made a profit of six million euros.

- It takes 60 tonnes of paint to cover the tower. Originally a reddish brown, the color used now is Eiffel Tower Brown in three shades, the darkest at the bottom and lightest at the top. Painters need 1,500 brushes to complete a new coat, applied every seven years.

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