Associated Press/Francois Mori

Paris' greatest tourist draw gets a new, heart-stopping feature.

The Eiffel Tower may have been the first city observation tower in the modern world, but it's only now hopping on a related tourist bandwagon: The vertiginous glass floor.

As of yesterday, visitors can now peer down through four sections of heavy glass on the tower's first level for a view of foot traffic 187 feet below.

It's not a new view; the first floor is donut-shaped, and has in the past allowed the curious to peer down through heavy fencing. It's also not an especially interesting view, compared to the vast cityscapes offered by glass decks at London's The Shard or Chicago's Willis Tower. But the feature is part of a larger $38.4 million renovation of the premier étage that, as CNN reports, Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes will help return some sparkle to the infamously tourist-unfriendly city.

A view of the underside of the Tower's first floor. (Associated Press/Francois Mori)
Looking down. (Associated Press/Francois Mori)

"I hear that Paris has lost its shine and attractiveness," she reportedly said at the floor's ribbon-cutting. "It's not true."

For their part, tourists seemed giddy and nervous of tumbling through the reinforced glass plates. "It's like jumping into the void," a contemplative Spaniard told The Guardian.

Hopefully no one's jumping too hard. An adrenaline rush may be a great tourist draw, but as those running the observation deck at the Willis Tower learned in May, there's nothing like a cracked glass ledge 1,300 feet in the air to promptly spook tourists away.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo rendering of "Siemensstadt 2.0" in Berlin
    Life

    Berlin's Take on a High-Tech ‘Smart City’ Could Be Different

    The German company Siemens is launching an ambitious adaptive reuse project to revitalize its historic corporate campus, with a modern data-collecting twist.

  2. a photo of a security camera
    Equity

    Six U.S. Cities Make the List of Most Surveilled Places in the World

    Atlanta and Chicago top the list of U.S. cities that are watching their citizens with security cameras, but China leads the world when it comes to official surveillance.

  3. a photo of a man at a bus stop in Miami
    Transportation

    Very Bad Bus Signs and How to Make Them Better

    Clear wayfinding displays can help bus riders feel more confident, and give a whole city’s public transportation system an air of greater authority.

  4. a photo of Fred and Donald Trump.
    Perspective

    Donald Trump Knows How to End Homelessness

    As a real-estate developer, he repeatedly argued that building adequate housing requires federal subsidies. As president, he’s forgotten that.

  5. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

×