The Eiffel Tower Is Going Dark Over an Hour Earlier—Here’s Why

The Eiffel Tower displays the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The Eiffel Tower displays the colors of the Ukrainian flag. / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Standing an impressive 1083 feet tall, Paris’s Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world. At night, it turns into a beacon of Parisian engineering. But starting this month, the illumination will be turned off over an hour earlier than normal. Part of the reason is due to the war in Ukraine.

According to Travel + Leisure, the tower will kill the lights at 11:45 p.m., a change from a previous policy of 1 a.m. The move, which was announced via Twitter by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, is intended to conserve power due to the energy crisis fomented by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it also makes operational sense: The tower closes to visitors at 11:45.

Paris is among the European cities conserving power following Russia's increase of fuel costs on European countries siding with Ukraine. Demand is expected to surge in the winter, with the potential for rationing or blackouts.

While this seems like it would curb the opportunity for photos of the Eiffel Tower at night, commercial photography of the illuminated structure is actually illegal owing to a peculiar copyright law. Artist Pierre Bideau designed the tower’s lighting in the 1980s, meaning that a commercial photo of the tower lit up would need his permission. (Tourist photos for non-commercial use are fine.)

The city will also mandate a lights-out policy for municipal buildings at 10 p.m. Public lights will remain on.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]