If you position yourself next to a strategic point and can see its tip, you can take a look at it from afar with binoculars (some do virtually from home). But did you know that from today it will be possible to visit the private apartment that Gustave Eiffel built for himself on top of the famous tower? A privilege that until yesterday was reserved for very few.
Monsieur Eiffel and his "little secret"
When the Eiffel Tower was ready in 1889, the monument with its view of the cityscape was undoubtedly a jaw-dropping sight for Parisian high society, but the designer was said to have reserved a small space near the top.
This secret little apartment on the Eiffel Tower quickly and understandably became "an object of general envy," he cites Architectural Digest. At the time, the more wealthy men made generous offers to stay in the apartment for only one night, but without success. Eiffel much preferred to use it for silent contemplation, scientific experiments, and to host whoever he wanted, when he liked it.
How Eiffel's apartment is made
Tucked just below the spire, the hidden apartment was small but cozy. Writer Henri Girard lo he described as "furnished in the simple style dear to scientists". He had a living room with paisley wallpaper, a grand piano, three small desks, a table and oil paintings. He had a kitchen and bathroom, but not a bedroom: and on the other hand, Eiffel is believed to have never slept there.
However, it would be used to be a delightful home office, offering arguably the best vantage point overlooking all of Paris, while being surrounded by an outdoor balcony.
Today, the public can finally tour the area, with much of its original fixtures intact, for around € 25 (US $ 30). One small drawback: tourists will have to endure the disturbing presence of wax replicas modeled on Gustave Eiffel, his daughter Claire and Thomas Edison placed there to reconstruct the inventor's visit to the apartment in 1889, when he gave Eiffel one of the first phonographs never made.