A company similiar to what AirBnB does, called HomeAway, ran a contest to "rent out" the the Eiffel Tower during the Euro 2016 tournament. They basically turned the second level into an apartment. But did you know there is another apartment in the Eiffel Tower? A secret apartment. And this one is not temporary. It's always been there.
But the only person that had access to the apartment was Gustav Eiffel, the architect whose company designed and built the landmark. Built in the late 1880s, the Eiffel Tower and was originally intended to be the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. For a man who mainly built bridges, this tower brought fame. But most interesting, he also built himself a secret, private home towards the top of the tower, that few knew about.
Eiffel used it as a personal getaway and as a place to perform meteorological experiments, some say. One guest that Gustave had was Thomas Edison. Edison was so appreciative of the invite, he gave Eiffel one of his newest inventions at the time. A phonograph.
Gustave Eiffel was “the object of general envy” among Parisians during his lifetime, and it wasn’t for designing one of the most famous monuments of all time. Rather, it was due to the fact that he had a private apartment at the top of the tower—and almost no one else was allowed access to it.
In his book La Tour Eiffel de Trois Cent Métres (The Eiffel Tower of 300 Meters), author Henri Girard explains that Parisians would offer up “a small fortune” to rent the space for a single night, but Eiffel consistently refused. However, he would occasionally entertain guests of the utmost prestige (Thomas Edison is one notable example).
Unlike the scientific marvel of steel and hard lines it’s housed in, the pied à terre is cozy and romantic—think paisley wallpaper, wood furniture, and oil paintings. All in all, not a shabby place to view Paris from the best vantage point in town.
While Eiffel Tower visitors were previously denied access to the apartment (what Monsieur Eiffel would have wanted, no doubt), it was announced today that it the 1,000-foot-high space is officially open to the public. At long last, we mere peasants can get a look at what it’s like to live at the world’s most enviable address.
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