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Iconic Blackpool Tower was first opened to the public on 14 May 1894. Inspired and modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the tower soars to 518 feet 9 inches (158.12 metres) high above Blackpool’s famous Golden Mile.
The tower was designed by the Lancashire architects, James Maxwell and Charles Tuke and the foundation stone was laid on 29th September 1891. The total cost for the design and construction of the tower and buildings was about £290,000. Five million bricks, 2,500 tonnes of iron and 93 tonnes of cast steel went into its construction.
The Tower Eye
The top of the tower is known as The Blackpool Tower Eye. It was previously known as the "Tower Top", until it reopened on 1 September 2011, having closed down the previous year for refurbishment, as part of the renovation of the entire Blackpool Tower complex.
Visitors view a 4-D film about Blackpool and the local area, which includes sensory effects such as wind, rain and sunshine, sea spray and the unmistakable aroma of the beach donkeys. The cinema is located under the tower's steel arches, which have been exposed for the first time. Visitors then enter the refurbished waiting area, where memorabilia and newspaper pages about the Blackpool Tower are on display, before being taken by elevator to the Eye.
There are four levels in the Blackpool Tower Eye: The enclosed area includes the main "Eye" attraction, which consists of a glass floor, and wall along the west side of the Tower, providing panoramic views of Blackpool seafront vand the North West coastline, visitors can walk take a 'Walk of Faith' across the new SkyWalk, across metres of glass. The second & third levels are outdoors, and the third level is the highest level accessible to the general public. Only employees are allowed to enter the crow's nest.
The Tower Ballroom
The original tower ballroom, known as the Tower Pavilion opened in August 1894. This was somewhat smaller than the present ballroom and occupied the front of the tower complex. The Tower Ballroom was constructed between 1897 and 1898 to the design of Frank Matcham who also designed Blackpool Grand Theatre and it opened in 1899.
Above the stage is the inscription, "Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear" from the poem Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare. The crystal chandeliers in the ballroom can be lowered to the floor to be cleaned which takes over a week. The ballroom was damaged by fire in December 1956, and the dance floor was destroyed along with the restaurant underneath the ballroom. Restoration took two years and cost £500,000. In the evening the Ballroom is transformed into a romantic setting for dancing, with candle-lit tables and the exciting sound of the big band orchestras.
The Tower Circus
The Tower Circus, with it's golden Arabesque walls creating a feeling of times gone by, has been voted ‘Best UK Circus’. It is situated at the base of the tower, between its four legs.
The circus first opened to the public on 14 May 1894. The present interior was designed by Frank Matcham and was completed in 1900. The circus ring can be lowered into a pool of water and holds 42,000 gallons at a depth of up to 4 ft 6 inches, which allows for Grand Finales with Dancing Fountains.
During more than a century of entertainment, the world's greatest circus stars have paraded across its ring. The clown Charlie Cairoli appeared at the tower for 39 years. Britain's best-known ringmaster Norman Barrett worked the ring for 25 years. Animals appeared in the circus until 1990. Today, the circus is produced and directed by Hungarian Laci Endresz.
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, located in the depths of the tower, a walk through some of the North West's most horrible history, brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, State of the art special effects, stages, scenes and a ride in a truly unique and exciting walkthrough experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel.
Jungle Jim’s Children's Indoor Play
Europe’s largest indoor adventure playground. Based on the theme of 'lost city', with giant Inca Gods guarding the entrance, the indoor playground boasts an amazing range of indoor slides, ball ponds and climbing ropes.