Friday, March 6, 2009

Eiffel Tower Exploits

1912: The tailor, Monsieur Reichelt, nicknamed the “birdman”, kills himself jumping from the 2nd floor of the Tower in a home-made parachute.

1923: Journalist, Pierre Labric, following a bet, rides a bicycle down the 347 stairs from the Tower’s first floor to ground level without authorization. (He would later became mayor of Montmartre.)

1926: Aviator, Léon Collot, attempts to fly an airplane under the Eiffel Tower. Blinded by the sun, he hits an antenna cable strung under the tower and crashes to his death.

1948: Bouglione, of circus fame, takes one of his elephants - the oldest in the world - for a tour of the Eiffel Tower. The elephant refuses to go higher than the first level.

1983: Charles Coutard and Joel Descuns ride up and down the Tower steps on motocross bikes.

1984: Paratroopers, Amanda Tucker and Mike MacCarthy from England, parachute from the third floor of the Tower without permission.

1987: A.J. Hackett, from New Zealand, successfully bungy jumps from the Tower’s second floor.

1989: In celebration of the Tower’s centennial, tightrope walker, Philippe Petit, “walks” the tightrope 700 meters from the Eiffel Tower to the Palais de Chaillot on the other side of the River Seine.

1995: A race up the steps to the top of the Tower is broadcast by Arte channel. Triathlete, Yves Loussouarn, wins against 74 other athletes with the record-breaking time of 8 minutes, 51 seconds.

1998: Hughes Richard climbs the steps to the Tower’s second floor in record time…on a mountain bike!

2001: Spaniard, Aitor Sarasua Zumeta, breaks Richard’s record.

2004: Xavier Casas from Andora, receives a Guinness World Record for step climbing on a VTT, making it up 1,300 steps of the Eiffel Tower!

2005: Athlete, Jerome Sue, descends the 347 steps from the 1st floor to ground level…in a wheelchair!

2006: Yoggi, a French monocyclist, ascends to the 2nd floor of the Tower without setting foot down on the ground.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Great fun facts! I can just about envisage descending the steps on a mountain bike, but a wheel chair!?

  2. "1926: Aviator, Léon Collot, attempts to fly an airplane under the Eiffel Tower. Blinded by the sun, he hits a television antenna and crashes to his death."

    He hit a TELEVISION ANTENNA? IN 1926?

    I also encountered this page:

    ...which claims to be an image of this aviator SUCCESSFULLY flying his plane under the tower.

  3. Thanks, Anonymous, for your correction. You're absolutely right that the cable that brought poor M. Collot crashing to his death had nothing to do with TV in 1926. I've tweaked my text accordingly.

    However, it is true that Collot did not survive the accident. Allposters might need to be corrected on that one.