The energy crisis in some European countries has made tourist spots that were once known for lighting darker. The old continent has also limited the use of heaters as winter approaches.
In Paris, known as the City of Light, several tourist spots are turning off their lights early. The lights on the Eiffel Tower, for example, have been turned off every day at 11:45 pm local time, 1:15 am conventional time, since September 23.
The lights in the Louvre museum’s pyramid are being turned off two hours earlier than usual and those in the Palace of Versailles an hour earlier.
Pyramid of the Louvre Museum illuminated at night in Paris, France, 2017. Photo: Ali Sabbagh/Personal Archives
On boulevard Champs-Élysées, lights will be turned off three hours earlier than usual daily from October 15th. Energy saving measures are also expected to affect Christmas decorations, which will be dimmer than in previous years.
Concerns about energy consumption in Europe grew after power cuts from Russia. Other European countries are more prone to Russian gas, but France has been ramping up energy imports amid disruptions to some of its nuclear reactors.
Avenue des Champs-Elysees in the French capital, photo taken on December 31, 2021 — Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
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In Paris, the aim of the emergency plan is to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 10%. In addition to lighting tourist attractions, the heating limit for public buildings has been reduced from 19°C to 18°C during the day and to 12°C at night and on weekends, when buildings are empty.
The actions are considered symbolic measures to warn about the energy crisis. “Symbols are important to make the population aware,” declared the French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak.
Mason Arms pub in the UK uses candlelight once a week to save energy — Photo: Reproduction/Facebook
In the UK, many pubs were threatened with “extinction” due to inflation in the country, which reached the highest level in 40 years. The situation prompted the government to announce a plan to subsidize 50% of companies’ electricity and gas bills for six months.
Among those that resisted the price rise is the Mason Arms, in the Cornwall region. The bar is using candlelight every Monday to cut down on expenses. The owner explained to The Guardian that this was the solution found after the electricity bill rose almost 120% in August 2022, compared to the same period last year.
In Germany, the government stopped lighting 200 monuments, including the Brandenburg Gate, Charlottenburg Palace and the Victory Column. The measure was taken on account of cuts in gas supplies by Russia.
Five tourist spots in Germany that turned off the lights to save energy
The German government has also mandated that public buildings such as museums must reduce the heating threshold to 19°C and that lighting in buildings and advertising spaces must be turned off at 10pm.
There, the expectation is that the Christmas trees and markets will be less lit than in previous years and that energy-intensive ice skating rinks will be replaced by synthetic rinks.
Italy and Spain also adopted measures to deal with the energy crisis. The two countries have imposed temperature limits on heating public spaces, which will affect a number of establishments that serve the public.
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