Paris may be famous for a few things but the Eiffel Tower tops that list, for sure. Did you know these mind-blowing facts about the monument?

The electricity bill is anything but light. The tower has a total of 20,000 light bulbs lining the frame, and it takes about 22 megawatts of electricity per day to run, which costs US $3074 per day and $1.12 million per year.

Gustave Eiffel did not design it. But one of his employees, engineer Maurice Koechlin did. In fact, Eiffel rejected Koechlin’s original sketches, calling them too minimalist and requesting a little more oomph. Koechlin’s final design was approved in 1884.

Luckily, the (World’s) Fair was in town. It just so happened that Paris was looking for a monumental, 300-metre tall archway to serve as the entrance to their 1889 World’s Fair grounds, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Eiffel and Co.’s design was picked from among more than 100 competing submissions, and construction began on January 28, 1887.

Paris didn’t love the tower at first. When Eiffel’s plans went public, 300 Paris luminaries signed a petition protesting the monolith’s construction, calling it “useless and monstrous” and an “odious column of bolted metal”. Even after the monument was completed, writer Guy de Maupassant made a point to eat lunch every day at the café directly below it, the only spot in Paris where he could not see the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower Instantly became the world’s tallest building. Standing 300 metres high upon completion on March 15, 1889, the Eiffel Tower became the world’s tallest structure. It kept that honour for 41 years until 1930, when it was topped by New York’s 320-metre Chrysler Building. In 1957, an antenna added to the Eiffel Tower took it to 324 metres.

It used to be yellow. The Eiffel Tower has been repainted 18 times, roughly once every seven years (other colours it has worn include red-brown, yellow-ochre, and chestnut brown). About 60 tonnes of paint is needed to cover its surface.