For those scared of heights, the latest changes on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower may be something of a challenge. As the Eiffel Tower celebrates its 125th birthday, it debuts a new glass floor for visitors on the first level. Now, you can look through a glass floor as part of a 30-million-euro (24-million-pound) refurbishment to France’s most visited paid-for tourist attraction.
The transparent floor is about 60m above ground level, where operators hope visitors will spend some time before moving on to the upper levels. Generally, tourists don’t spend much time on the first floor and move on directly to the second or third floor to catch better views of the City of Light. The new glass floor aims to turn the previously draughty and dowdy space into as big an attraction as the viewing platform near the top of the 325m tower.
To make the experience even more interesting, the traditional wire safety fence has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling glass barriers that tilt outwards.
The first-floor refurbishment also increases the eco-friendliness of the tower with the addition of new solar panels, which will provide hot water requirements to about half of the tower, and the operation of some toilets using rain water.
Another new addition to the first floor is a museum, which will show the history of the tower on seven screens. It is an innovative development, which will offer an enhanced experience of both the tower and the City of Light.
Selfie lovers with a love of heights can now enjoy taking vertigo-inducing snaps from the Eiffel Tower. Although 60m may not seem as much, it is still not for the faint-hearted. Some visitors were even terrified to step on the glass floor as it looks really scary. At first, your brain may tell you that you will fall right through it, but you will soon get used to it and enjoy an incredible and breathtaking experience of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
Due to the huge queues to get to the top of the 325m tower, not everyone can get to the top floor and have to make do with only the first floor. But now you can feel as if you are suspended in air, even on the first floor, as you look out at the city and the suburbs beyond. What’s even better is that it’s extremely safe. It can be a bit scary on the top floor if it’s too windy up there, but on the first floor where you protected by strong glass barriers, you will feel safe.
About 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year and about 85% of these visitors are foreign tourists, making it the busiest paid-for tourist attraction in the whole world. The management of the tower hopes that the renovations will attract more local visitors to the Iron Lady, as it is sometimes called in French. The tower symbolizes Paris and is famous all over the world. It is a great success story for the city and the country.