On the occasion of a morning show live from the Eiffel Tower, Europe 1 was able to go behind the scenes of "Dame de fer" and climb just a few meters from the antennas that broadcast the FM band.
A guided tour of which Alain Evano, the man thanks to whom Parisians and Ile-de-France residents can listen to the radio, is the guide.
It is the symbol of Paris, but its function is far from being limited to attracting tourists from all over the world.
If you live within a radius of 70 kilometers around the Eiffel Tower, it is this which allows you to listen to the radio, and therefore Europe 1, on the FM band.
On the occasion of a morning show live from the "Iron Lady" this Wednesday, Sébastien Krebs was able to penetrate into the bowels of the building, as close as possible to the radio broadcasting antennas.
An exceptional visit guided by Alain Evano, responsible in particular for the antennas and transmitters of the tower, the man thanks to whom Parisians and Ile-de-France residents can listen to the radio.
A technical room "286 meters high" ...
If the third floor of the Eiffel Tower marks the highest point that can be visited for tourists, this Wednesday is only the start of this visit.
It is by a very narrow spiral staircase "which made it possible to climb at the top of the time of Gustave Eiffel", that one reaches a technical room perched "at 286 meters high".
Or just below the aerials which culminate at "324 meters", specifies the owner.
Once there, do not plan to take a selfie to admire the view, here there are no windows but installations which allow “to collect the signals” radios of 31 frequencies.
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Europe Matin from the Eiffel Tower
... closest to the broadcast antennas
"This is where we will receive the signal sent to us by Europe 1 so that it can be broadcast via one of the FM antennas", explains Alain Evano.
"The signal is picked up, it goes down along the cables [to other installations where technicians work] where it is put on the frequency of Europe 1. This signal then goes up to the antennas to broadcast it" to potentially 12 million listeners.
As for audiovisual broadcasting, this goes through another system whose purpose is "the large white antenna that all Parisians know and can see".
A former living space with beds and kitchen
More surprisingly, among the cables and other control boxes are camp beds.
"There are no longer any guards now, but at one time the Eiffel Tower was a fulcrum for everything including TV reporting. There was constant exploitation and people slept here between two shows. ", says Alain Evano.
And to conclude: "I could even show you the highest toilets in Paris! Because it was a place of life with even a shower and a small kitchen, but we have had it removed since."