Thursday, 18 April 2013

Maintenace of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Every seven years the Eiffel Tower gets re-painted to protect it from rust. Every nut, bolt, beam and crevice is painted by hand. It takes a team of 25 painters requiring 50 kilometers (31 miles) of climbing rope working full time over 18 months to complete the painting of the tower as the painters still work with small, circular brushes, as they did in 1889, instead of modern sprayers or paint-rollers.

When the tower is finished they will have applied an estimated 60 metric tonnes of patented, signature "Eiffel Tower brown," paint.

The complete job will cost an estimated total of 4 million euros (2009).

In order to maintain a uniform appearance to an observer on the ground, three separate colors of paint are used, with the darkest on the top and the lightest at the bottom. On occasion the colour of the paint has changed. The tower has in the past been painted red, orange and yellow, but has maintained its signature brown color, which overseers say best accents the Paris skyline, since 1968.

In the seven years between paintings, they say, about 55 tons of paint erodes.

But the re-painting is not the only maintenance that is preformed on the Eiffel tower. There are 360 spotlights illuminating the tower as well as 20,000 mini-flashbulbs that make the tower “sparkle” every hour on the hour throughout the night.
It takes a specially trained pair of technicians using mountain climbing gear to scale the iron crossbeams. They are fastened by nylon climbing cords to the structure at all times, with their tools strapped to their belts to prevent the tools from accidentally falling or becoming snagged in the tower. It can take upwards of an hour to replace a single bulb.

Currently the one of the original elevators, installed in 1899 ten years after the tower was built by Gustave Eiffel, is undergoing an extensive re-fab. Each piece of equipment on the hydraulic motor is being duplicated. With each original gear, wheel and screw being copied and re-cast in foundries in both France and Germany for a cost of over 28 million euros (2009).

Hours of Operation and Rate 2013

The Eiffel Tower is open every day from 9.30 a.m. to 11.45 p.m. (from 9 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. during the summer months). The last entrance tickets are sold 45 minutes before the monument closes.
The last ascent to the top of the tower departs at 10.30 p.m. (11.00 during the summer), except where the tower is closed early because of large numbers of visitors.
Measures for clearing the floors begin between 30 and 45 minutes before closing.
These times may be changed without prior notice by the management, in particular because of unusual occurrences, unfavourable weather conditions, or a large numbers of visitors.

Elevator entrance tickets
(to second floor)
Adults 8.50 € Youths (12 – 24) 7.00 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 4.00 €
Elevator entrance tickets to top floor
Adults 14.00 € Youths (12 – 24) 12.50 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 9.50 €
Stair entrance tickets(to second floor)
Adults 4.50 € Youths (12 – 24) 3.50 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 3.00 €
Children under 4 are free guests at the Eiffel Tower.
All accompanying persons pay the full adult fee.

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