The Eiffel Tower has a secret apartment at the top complete with a grand piano

Gustave Eiffel used it as a place for quiet reflection

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 22 April 2015 16:11
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Upon creating an architectural marvel in 1889, designer Gustave Eiffel decided to congratulate himself by having a plush little apartment built for himself high up on the tower's third level.

Standing in stark contrast to the skeletal iron of the structure, the flat was "furnished in the simple style dear to scientists", according to author Henri Girard, who wrote about it in his 1891 book La Tour Eiffel de Trois Cent Métres, housing wooden chests, paintings and even a grand piano.

Perched 1,000 foot in the air, the apartment was a supremely decadent place from which to view the city, before perhaps carrying out some meteorological observations using the scientific equipment found in an adjacent small room, as Eiffel often did.

(Picture: Getty)
Gustave Eiffel (Picture: Getty)
A small cannon is fired from the Eiffel Tower at noon, the whole of Paris telling the time by the blast (Picture: Getty)

Eiffel was apparently inundated with exorbitant offers from the Parisian elite to rent out the apartment, even for one night, but he declined them all, preferring to keep it as a personal space for quiet reflection both in the heart of the city and yet miles from it.

He would however have the odd guest up, including Thomas Edison who once visited and gave Eiffel a phonograph machine as a gift.

The apartment, which I like to imagine goes by the address 1 La Tour Eiffel, is closed to the public but much of the original furnishings remain inside, along with mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.

(Photo: Serge Melki)

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