The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. The tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight.
Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees.
For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, famous for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo.
Bonanno Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, only to come back and die in his home town. A piece of cast with his name was discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, but this may be related to the bronze door in the façade of the cathedral that was destroyed in 1595.
It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square after the Cathedral and the Baptistery. The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178.
This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence.
On February 27, 1964, the government of Italy requested aid in preventing the tower from toppling. It was, however, considered important to retain the current tilt, due to the role that this element played in promoting the tourism industry of Pisa.
The top of the leaning tower of Pisa is about 17 feet off the vertical. The tower is also slightly curved from the attempts by various architects to keep it from leaning more or falling over.
Many ideas have been suggested to straighten the Tower of Pisa, including taking it apart stone by stone and rebuilding it at a different location. Utilizing many columns and arches, this tower represents an advanced understanding of weight and load characteristics, showing the Italian architectures’ knowledge.
In 1990, the Leaning Tower was closed. The bells were removed and the tower was anchored. Reopened in 2001 for tourists, the leaning tower of Pisa is finally sturdy and safe. Naturally, climbing to the top of the tower has become the most popular tourist activity.
This world we are living in is filled with amazing places, if you ever plan on going to Italy make sure to stop by the beautiful tower, one of the most amazing sites so catching to the eyes. In Italian the Leaning Tower of Pisa is Torre pendente di Pisa.