When you hear the word “Paris,” the first thing that comes to mind is almost certainly the Eiffel Tower. But did you know many Parisians never wanted it built, and protested its construction vehemently? Or that even the French government wanted it torn down just 20 years after its 1889 inauguration?

Yet still it stands today, as perhaps the best-known manmade structure in the world. But the journey that’s kept the tower standing has been far from easy — or expected. Let these surprising Eiffel Tower facts and photos reveal everything you never knew about this supremely iconic Parisian landmark:

Clouds Tower
Looking Up Middle
Night Lights Red Clouds
First Drawing
These 39 Surprising Eiffel Tower Facts And Photos Tell The Story You’ve Never Heard
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After you enjoy these fascinating Eiffel Tower facts, check out the man who turned the Eiffel Tower into an instrument. Then, for more on the beauty and mystery of the Paris of yesteryear, take a look at these vintage Paris photos from the 1940s.

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