The Eiffel Tower, whose twinkling lights define Paris’ nighttime skyline, is set to darken sooner due to the energy crisis.
Paris City Hall is set to propose this week that the monument, which is among the most visited in the world, go out more than an hour earlier than usual, as Europe faces an aggravated spike in energy costs by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Eiffel Tower is currently illuminated after dark until 1am by an elaborate lighting system that gives it a golden glow. In addition, the monument sparkles for five minutes every hour as soon as night falls, thanks to 20,000 flashing bulbs.
The town hall should propose that the tower turn off at 11.45 p.m. when the last visitors leave, which means that it will no longer sparkle at midnight.
The Eiffel Tower was extinguished on Thursday evening – an exceptional measure – on the occasion of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The decision to dim lighting is seen as a way to set an example for dim lighting in the city in general.
Jean-François Martins, the manager of the tower, said: “It is a highly symbolic gesture which is part of the growing awareness around energy sobriety.”
Lighting the monument at night represents 4% of its annual energy consumption. The tower, which was completed in 1889, has returned to pre-Covid visitor numbers at more than 20,000 a day.
Other municipal authorities are also reducing the night lighting of important sites. The monuments of Marseille, including the Palais du Pharo, will turn off earlier from the end of September in order to save energy.
In Berlin this summer, nighttime lighting was reduced on several monuments, including the Victory Column, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Jewish Museum.