Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Published : 10/24/2017 09:45:10
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The Leaning Tower of Pisa, known in Italy as simply the Tower of Pisa, is one of the most popular monuments of the Italian city of Pisa, in the southern part of Tuscany. As the third oldest structure in Pisa's Chathedral Square (after the Cathedral and the Baptistery), the construction is known worldwide for its tilt. 

How tall is the leaning Tower of Pisa? 

The height of the Tower is 55.86 metres from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres on the high side. Its estimated weight is 14.500 metric tons. The angle by which it leans measures 3.99 degrees, a significant improvement since the years that were prior to its restoration conducted between 1900 and 2001, when it leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees.

Leaning Tower of Pisa history in short

The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in August 1173 and, thought having been interrupted several times by matters of war, debt, corruption, as well as by its progressive (gradual) tilting, was completed in the mid-1300s. In between these two dates, a 100-year hiatus occurred, as the Republic of Pisa needed to focus on a brutal and devastating war against Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. In 1319 the 7th floor was finished, and in 1372 the bell-chamber was added.  

A scientific curiosity

Galileo Galilei is said to have used the Tower of Pisa as the background of his famous experiment set In 1589. The Italian scientist dropped two spheres of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass. Through this method, he managed to prove that the objects fell with the same acceleration. 

Why does it lean?
The leaning of the Tower of Pisa is related to the time of its construction, dating back to 1173. As the third story of the building was being completed, the soft ground upon which the Tower was built started destabilizing its foundations. 
Over the next 800 years, more and more architects and engineers were compelled to admit that the Tower, 55-metre high, wasn't just leaning, but falling at a rate of two millimeters per year. Several efforts were made to stabilize the ground and yet, thanks to their efforts, the Tower has managed to avoid toppling over.

How many steps does it have? 

The Tower has between 294 and 296 steps, stretching out through eight floors, or stories. After having discovered the tilt, it was decided that the upper floors should be built with one side taller than the other. That's what gives the Tower its actual curvy shape. Besides the staircase, the inside of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is empty.

Who built the Leaning Tower of Pisa? 

We don't know exactly who had been employed to work on the Tower's construction over the years. For many years, it was believed that Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, two well-known 12th-century artists of Pisa, worked on the design of the Tower. The latter, in particular, had his name discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, even if this doesn't prove anything relevant.

Come pay a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the other three buildings that make up the cathedral complex in Pisa, called Campo dei Miracoli. They are, respectively, the cathedral, or Duomo di Pisa, one of the most impressive examples of Romanesque architecture, the baptistery, west of the dome, and the cemetery, named Campo Santo.