London Eye Facts

London Eye Facts
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located along the River Thames in London, England. Today it is Europe's tallest Ferris wheel however it was also the world's tallest Ferris wheel until 2006 when its 443 foot record height was surpassed by the 520 foot tall Star of Nanchang Ferris wheel. The London Eye was opened formally by Prime Minister Tony Blair on New Year's Eve 1999, but it was not opened for public use until March of 2000 due to technical issues. By June of 2008 30 million people had taken a ride on the London Eye.
Interesting London Eye Facts:
The London Eye had had several names including the British Airways London Eye, Merlin Entertainment's London Eye, the EDF Energy London Eye, the Coca-Cola London Eye, and it has also been known as the Millennium Wheel.
The London Eye was designed by several architects including Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Julia Barfield, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, David Marks, and Mark Sparrowhawk.
On New Year's Eye the London Eye was tested without passengers. On February 1st, 2000 it was tested with its first passengers. On March 9th, 2000 the London Eye opened to the public.
The London Eye cost approximately 70 million pounds to build.
The London Eye is 443 feet tall and its diameter is 394 feet.
The London Eye resembles the wheel of a bicycle with tensioned steel cables supporting the wheel's rim similar to spokes.
The London Eye has 32 air-conditioned and sealed passenger capsules that can hold as many as 25 people. Inside the capsule passengers can move around or sit in the chairs provided.
Each capsule of the London Eye weighs 10 tonnes.
It takes 30 minutes to ride the London Eye, and does not stop to allow passengers on and off.
The 32 capsules of the London Eye are symbolic with one for each of London's boroughs. There is no number 13 due to superstitious beliefs so there is a number 33 capsule.
The London Eye in London is symbolic to its people in the same way that the Eiffel Tower is to the people of Paris.
The London Eye is the fourth tallest Ferris wheel in the world today, but it does not even rank in the top 20 tallest structures in London.
Approximately 3.5 million people visit the London Eye each year and it is the U.K.s most popular (paid) tourist attraction.
The London Eye is a popular place for proposals. More than 5000 engagements have begun while riding the London Eye.
From the top of the London Eye on a clear day it is possible to see Windsor Castle 25 miles away.
The London Eye was not the first giant Ferris wheel constructed in London. In 1895 the Empire of India Exhibition took place in London, for which the Great Wheel was built. It existed until 1907 when it was torn down. More than 2 million people rode the Great Wheel.
Although not the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the London Eye is the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the world.

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