by Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler
When Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower, he included a private apartment for himself at the top -- and now you can go see it in person.
Gustave Eiffel was "the object of general envy" among Parisians during his lifetime, and it wasn't for designing one of the most famous monuments of all time. Rather, it was due to the fact that he had a private apartment at the top of the tower -- and almost no one else was allowed access to it.
In his book La Tour Eiffel de Trois Cent Métres (The Eiffel Tower of 300 Meters), author Henri Girard explains that Parisians would offer up "a small fortune" to rent the space for a single night, but Eiffel consistently refused. However, he would occasionally entertain guests of the utmost prestige (Thomas Edison is one notable example).
Unlike the scientific marvel of steel and hard lines it's housed in, the pied à terre is cozy and romantic -- think paisley wallpaper, wood furniture and oil paintings. All in all, not a shabby place to view Paris from the best vantage point in town.
While Eiffel Tower visitors were previously denied access to the apartment (what Monsieur Eiffel would have wanted, no doubt), it was announced today that it the 1,000-foot-high space is officially open to the public. At long last, we mere peasants can get a look at what it's like to live at the world's most enviable address.
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