Most of the major cities of the world boast tourist attractions of some kind or another. Not many cities can present a giant Ferris wheel as their main tourist attraction. When it was built, the London Eye was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Take this quiz to learn more about this gigantic wheel.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel.
It was built to celebrate the dawn of the new millennium, the year 2000.
It was meant to symbolize the turning of the century.
It stands 442 feet (135 meters) tall.
The London Sunday Times organized a competition in 1993 for ideas for a monument to celebrate the change of century.
The company of Marks Barfield presented the winning concept.
It was known as the British Airways Millennium Wheel.
Although originally it was given a five-year permit, in 2002 it was granted permanent status.
It had not yet made a profit.
Some 30 million visitors had paid to visit the wheel.
The Tussauds Group, owners of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, bought the wheel in 2006.
The architects noted that London lacked observation points offering views of the skyline and surrounding landscape. A big rotating wheel would offer large numbers of people to enjoy the view at the same time, as well as symbolizing the turn of the century.
The passengers sit in fully enclosed capsules rather than dangling gondolas.
It is supported on one side only, which allows it to hang over the River Thames.
Each leg is over 190 feet (58 meters) long.
In the two base towers there are standard motorized truck tires acting as friction rollers on the rim of the wheel turning it.
This huge wheel weighs 1,322 tons (1,200 tonnes).
There are 32 capsules, representing each of the 32 boroughs of London.
Each capsule holds 25 people, meaning that up to 800 people can enjoy the ride at any one time.
On a clear day you can see 25 miles (40 km) or as far as Windsor Castle.