Eiffel Tower closed as Paris is hit by huge snowfall

Eiffel Tower closed as Paris is hit by huge snowfall

Authorities in the Paris region raised the level of the snow and ice plan to three so lorries were not allowed to circulate on the region's main road. In all, around 1,500 people had to be sheltered between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (local time).

Heavy snow is very unusual in Paris, when there is snow, it is usually a dusting.

Commuters were left stranded in stations as buses were canceled and train service was reduced.

Police on Twitter urged motorists to leave their cars at home again on Thursday.

For children and the more adventurous, the weather was a godsend: some carted skis to the top of Montmartre, the steep hill in northern Paris where the Sacre Coeur is located, while impromptu snowball fights erupted on the way to schools.

They managed to get in about an hour of runs on Wednesday morning on the slopes of the park that descends from the church, as well as on some nearby streets, before being chased off by the police.

The Eiffel Tower closes from time to time because of strong wind gusts, but it's rarely shut down for three days in a row. Public transportation was also halted.

On the outskirts of Paris, rescuers worked to evacuate almost 2,000 people who were stranded overnight on the N118 highway, prompting anger from drivers who said the route should have been closed off.

Visitors had to admire the snow-covered wrought iron lattice tower from the now-white fields covered near the monument, clutching umbrellas as the snow continued all day Tuesday.

Twenty-eight French departments, including eight in the Paris region, were placed on orange alert over the risky weather conditions and ice on the roads.

Many travellers were stuck at the airport as train services resumed only slowly after being halted early Wednesday, and few taxis were willing to courageous the roads.

"I love Paris. I would just love to get there and see it", said Paul Farberman, a 66-year-old music industry executive who had just flown in from Los Angeles.