One of the world’s most famous pieces of architecture boasts a well-concealed secret.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris has an apartment at the top – which included a grand piano.
After completing his architectural marvel in 1889, designer Gustave Eiffel decided to congratulate himself by having a plush flat built for himself high up on the tower’s third level.
In 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. It contained wooden chests, paintings and the piano.
Around 300m it was also used for observing the weather using instruments contained in the room – a hobby of the designer.
Eiffel was reportedly bombarded with exorbitant offers to rent out the apartment, even for one night, but he declined them all, preferring to keep it as a place for reflection – a space in the heart of one of the world’s great cities, yet totally removed from the urban sprawl.
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 is closed to the public but much of the original furnishings remain inside, along with mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.