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Fancy an eyeful from the Eiffel? You’ll have to climb up 674 steps! Paris landmark reopens

Sightseers today prepared for a 674-step hike up the Eiffel Tower as the Paris landmark and 1,063 foot-symbol of France was reopened following three months of lockdown.

The world’s most-visited paid monument, which attracts some 7 million tourists each year, welcomed dozens of visitors after its longest closure since World War Two.

Elevators to the top are out of service to allow for adequate social distancing and only the first and second floors will be accessible to the public.

There are 674 steps up to the second floor (the stairway to the top is never open to the public), but just trekking to that floor alone will take around 45 minutes.

Journalists from around the world outnumbered about 50 people, mainly French, who began the steep climb by stairs to the first two levels.

‘I’m tearing up, but they’re tears of joy. It’s an emotional moment after these difficult months,’ said Therese, visiting from the southern city of Perpignan. 

A view of the Champs-de-Mars seen from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus.

Elevators to the top are out of service, at least for the time being, and only the first and second floors will be accessible to the public. There are 674 steps up to the second floor (the stairway to the top is never open to the public), but just hiking to that floor alone will take around 45 minutes.

People wearing protective face masks visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, June 25, 2020

People wearing protective face masks visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, June 25, 2020

Visitors wearing protective facemasks walk up the stairs as they visit the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

Visitors wearing protective facemasks walk up the stairs as they visit the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

‘I’m going to climb, but slowly,’ said the 60-year-old, wearing the obligatory face mask. ‘And if I don’t make it, it’s no big deal!’

‘It’s very special to be here,’ said Manuel Mehl, who came ‘spontaneously’ from Pfaffenhofen in Germany with his American wife Shanique Chintsanya.

Patrick Branco Ruivo, director general of the site’s operating company SETE, said the top would reopen on July 15, though just eight people will be allowed into the elevators at a time, instead of the usual 45.

The 104-day closure cost the company 27 million euros (£24 million) in lost sales, he said, adding that visitor numbers will be tightly limited for now.

People queue up prior to visit the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday. Patrick Branco Ruivo, director general of the site's operating company SETE, said the top would reopen on July 15, though just eight people will be allowed into the elevators at a time, instead of the usual 45. The 104-day closure cost the company 27 million euros (£24 million) in lost sales, he said, adding that visitor numbers will be tightly limited for now.

People queue up prior to visit the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday. Patrick Branco Ruivo, director general of the site’s operating company SETE, said the top would reopen on July 15, though just eight people will be allowed into the elevators at a time, instead of the usual 45. The 104-day closure cost the company 27 million euros (£24 million) in lost sales, he said, adding that visitor numbers will be tightly limited for now.

A visitor wearing a protective facemask admires the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

A visitor wearing a protective facemask admires the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

Tourists and Parisians will again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus - but only if they take the stairs

Tourists and Parisians will again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus – but only if they take the stairs

Visitors arrive to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease

A visitor admires the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

Visitors arrive  for socially distanced queuing (left) to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease and a visitor admires the glorious view of the French capital (right)

A visitor looks at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark's longest closure since World War Two

A visitor looks at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War Two

Visitors look at the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. - Tourists and Parisians will again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus -- but only if they take the stairs

Visitors look at the view from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. – Tourists and Parisians will again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus — but only if they take the stairs

The Eiffel Tower usually receives about seven million visitors per year, some three-quarters from abroad.

The absence of crowds was no problem for Iris Wang, a 25-year-old from China. ‘It’s more peaceful and quiet,’ she told AFP.

Alex, 15, visiting with his mother from the Netherlands, said: ‘It’s my first time in Paris and it’s really great to be here – we saw the Eiffel Tower was opening today so we thought we should come.’ 

A man walks past signs which indicate social distancing during a visit at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France

A man walks past signs which indicate social distancing during a visit at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France

A view of the River Seine and the Musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac (R) seen from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

A view of the River Seine and the Musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac (R) seen from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

A man looks out over the French capital as he stands on a viewing platform at the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

A man looks out over the French capital as he stands on a viewing platform at the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

People queue up prior to visit the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark's longest closure since World War Two

People queue up prior to visit the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War Two

Ground markings were made to enforce social distancing, and SETE has promised ‘daily cleaning and disinfection of public spaces at the tower.’

France is one of the world’s most visited countries, and its tourism industry has taken a hard hit under the lockdown to halt the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels, restaurants, museums and theatres closed for three months.

France lifted restrictions at European borders on June 15, and the tourism industry hopes that foreign visitors will start pouring in again as the summer season kicks off. 

A visitor looks at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark's longest closure since World War Two

A visitor looks at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War Two

Visitors look at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark's longest closure since WWII

Visitors look at the view from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2020. The Eiffel Tower reopens after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since WWII

A view of the Trocadero seen from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

A view of the Trocadero seen from the Eiffel Tower during its partial reopening on June 25, 2020, in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus

People walk past signs which indicate social distancing during a visit at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France

People walk past signs which indicate social distancing during a visit at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on its reopening day to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France

At the Eiffel Tower, ticket prices for children have been halved for July and August.

‘Parisians and French, now is the time to come to the Eiffel Tower, you won’t have to stand in line!’ Branco Ruivo said.

While some of the tower’s eateries have reopened, the Michelin-starred Jules Verne, which has its own elevator to a dining room perched 125 metres (410 feet) above the ground, will open on June 30. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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