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The Madeline Connection

The Eiffel Tower is very visible through many of the Madeline books, including the cover of the first book. In Bemelmans' illustrations, the "old house in Paris that was covered with vines" in which Madeline and the other girls live is virtually next door to the Tower – impossible to afford, but so picturesque! In an drawing of an ambulance racing Madeline to the hospital to have her appendix removed – "In a car with a red light they drove out into the night" – a night view of the Tower, lit by a full moon, shows prominently in the background.

Things Kids and Grownups Might Like to Know

Have you ever looked at the Eiffel Tower and thought about how you might get to the top? First of all, there are elevators available, and have been since the first one began service on May 26, 1889…….But there are also stairs! "How many stairs?" you ask. From the ground to the top, via the east pillar, it is 1,165 stairs! Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) you can only climb the stairs to the second floor – after that, they are closed to the public and you have to take the elevator if you want to go to the top. There are two elevators, each of which takes approximately one trip every 8 minutes – that makes about 100 round trips per day.

Here are the answers to a few other favorite questions about the Eiffel Tower –

Why is it called the "Eiffel Tower"? And what is "Tour Eiffel"? It’s called the "Eiffel Tower" because Gustav Eiffel is the name of the man who designed it – he beat 700 other entries to win a competition for the selection of a design to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. And the reason that you sometimes see "Tour Eiffel" is that "tour" is the French word for "tower"!

How many people have visited the Eiffel Tower since it was built? The Tower was built in 1889, which was 116 years ago and the 200 millionth visit took place in 2002! At the end of 2004, the total number of people to ever visit was 216,476,171.

What happens to the Tower when the wind blows? The force of the wind can cause the top part of the Tower to sway from side-to-side about 6 to 7 centimeters. The largest amount of movement was measured at 9 centimeters in 1999.

What is the Tower made of? It is not made of steel as some people think, but of a special kind of iron called "puddle iron" which was used a lot in building construction all over Europe in the nineteenth century.

Does the Tower have to be painted? Yes! It is painted every 7 years and takes 25 people 15 months to paint it using only paintbrushes.

Much of the information on this page is from the official Eiffel Tower web-site, which is a wonderful resource – please visit them at

Location: The Eiffel Tower is fronted by the River Seine and sits next to the Parc du Champ de Mars in the 7E arrondissement.

Métro: Bir-Hakim, #6 Trodadéro, #9  Ecole Militaire, #8

RER: Ligne C – Station Champ de Mars, Tour Eiffel

Bus: 42, 69, 72, 82, 87

Hours of Operation: Hours vary, but the Tower is open every day of the year.

Entrance Fees: Entrance fees vary also, but children less than three years old are free and group rates are available.

There is a Paris Tourist Office kiosk on site, as well as a Change Office kiosk.