In yet another example of poor tourist behaviour, two American holidaymakers have been found asleep up the Eiffel Tower, after spending the night there.
1. Dream night gone wrong
A statement from the Société d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) said the men were discovered “in the early morning” of Monday 14 August 2023, after paying to go up the tower late on Sunday evening. It seems the pair were obliged to spend what many would consider a dream night in the iconic structure because they were too inebriated to continue their descent of the monument’s stairs.
Early bird tourists on Monday morning had to wait an hour longer than usual in queues to visit France’s (and possibly the world’s) most recognisable monument, thanks to the tipsy drinkers.
2. Drunken emergency
The men “appear to have got stuck because of how drunk they were”, Parisian prosecutors told the French press agency.
The spot they were found in by presumably bemused security guards was situated somewhere between the second and third floors of the monument, meaning the drunken duo had slept off what must have been a boozy day in the French capital at a height of between 115 and 274 metres above the City of Lights.
The incident, which has all the ingredients of a bad Hollywood action film script, entailed an emergency service response. The exact location where they spent the night has not been revealed, but it was in an area usually closed to the public. The men had jumped security barriers to reach their chosen resting place but “did not pose any apparent threat”, SETE emphasised. Nonetheless, the area was precarious enough to mean firefighters had to be brought in to address the situation and a special team for rescuing people from heights was deployed.
3. Symbol of love
Standing at 330 metres (1082 ft), the suggestively-tapered landmark is synonymous with romance and “witness to thousands of declarations of undying love” says the Eiffel Tower website. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it was originally intended to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution at the 1889 World Fair.
Eiffel was an accomplished engineer, whose portfolio includes railway stations, viaducts, and the structure inside the Statue of Liberty.
The Eiffel Tower has been a military radio post (in 1903) and transmitted the first public radio programme in 1925. Television has also been broadcast from it in more recent years. Despite serving as the most visited paid entry monument in the world, it has never been rented out as a private overnight hotel. Until now.