PARIS — Paris reopened many of its iconic cultural and tourist sites on Monday for the first time since the wave of bombing and shooting attacks killed about 130 in France's capital.
"In tragic moments that pass over France, culture is more than ever the symbolic place of discovery for oneself and others," Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said in a statement issued Sunday night.
Renowned museums such as the Louvre and other historical buildings opened at 1 p.m. (7 a.m. ET) after a nation-wide minute of silence. A few museums, such as the Musée d'Orsay, which are closed on Mondays would not open as usual.
The Eiffel Tower remained closed to visitors for a few hours after the scheduled reopening after officials said they needed to boost security — much to the irritation of crowds of tourists waiting to get in.
"We didn't think we had enough security or personnel to ensure security," said Thierry Rogier, a welcoming agent at Eiffel Tower.
Cheers and applause broke out after tourists began to enter the building at around 3:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET). The Tower was also lit up in red, white and blue — the colors of the French flag.
Despite the trickle of visitors being allowed up into the Eiffel Tower, its website continued to run a statement saying it was "closed until further notice."
Tourist Claire Foster told NBC News from near the tower that she had decided to travel to the French capital with friends on Sunday despite the violence.
"Paris is probably the safest place to be — everywhere you look there's people with guns," said the 36-year-old from Birmingham, England. "It's nice to be here and ... let the terrorists know they're not winning."