It may come as a surprise that at the most recognizable monument in Paris, hides a secret apartment. After the Eiffel tower was opened in 1889, the tower’s designer, Gustave Eiffel, had become “the object of general envy.” But it wasn’t for his engineering and design feat, it was for an apartment he had at the third-to-highest level of the Eiffel Tower (285 meters above the ground, on the fourth level). Author Henri Girard described it as “furnished in the simple dear style to scientists”, in his 1891 book titled La Tour Eiffel de Trois Cent Métres.
It is a lovely essey on the apartment, describing how the apartment embodied many of the philosophical dreams of 19th century thinkers.
Eiffel used mostly for meeting important guests like Thomas Edison, who visited in September 1889, rather than for debaucherous parties. The walls were covered in warm wallpaper and the furniture included soft chintzes, wooden cabinets, and even a grand piano, creating a comfortable atmosphere, perched nearly 1,000 feet in the air.
Adjacent to the small apartment were some laboratory areas equipped with the experimentation gear of the day.
After being hidden from the public for years, the apartment has been restored to its original condition and can now be visited by the public. Today it also contains mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.