The Pisa standing with other monuments at the Cathedral Square The Pisa standing with other monuments at the Cathedral Square

The Lean Scene: 10 Astonishing Facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Italy one of the most preferred and loved tourist places in the world is famous for its monuments especially, The Leaning Tower Of Pisa in Italian “Torre Pendente Di Pisa”. The leaning tower of Pisa which is made up of white marble is one of the three structures in Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo). The miracles tower of Pisa is simply referred to as the tower of Pisa or campanile.

The tower of Pisa is listed as a UNESCO world heritage and is one of the most famous tourist places in the world has many interesting facts. The tower is also a part of the Campo Dei Miracoli, a cathedral complex called Campo Dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli or squares of miracles. The complex of buildings was constructed in Romanesque marble and have a domed baptistery along with a cloistered cemetery, in addition to the cathedral. The tower of Pisa has since become the most famous building in the complex for its lean.

the tower of pisa
https://Image by Pexels from Pixabay/copyright 2016

Although The leaning tower of Pisa is not the only leaning tower, many other towers are tilted, such as the Church of St. Nicola’s bell, and St. Michele de Scalzi’s bell tower. But the tower has its own beauty and uniqueness.

The tower of Pisa has some amazing and interesting facts.

Let us look for those amazing facts about The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

10 Amazing Facts about Leaning Tower of Pisa

1) The Tower of Pisa was Constructed in Three Stages

The tower of Pisa, Piazza Dei Miracoli, or “Torre Pendente Di Pisa,” was constructed in three stages almost 2 centuries ago. The tower’s foundation was laid on On 9 August 1173. The tower’s construction began on 14 August of the same year during a period of military success and prosperity. Bonanno Pisano was the architect of the campanile or the tower of Pisa.

But later on, in 1178, the campanile began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor, which caused a tilt in the tower. Due to the tower’s lean, the construction paused for almost a century. Later on, in 1272, the second stage of construction of Pisa began.

Later on, the seventh floor’s construction began and was completed in 1319, which was the 3rd stage. And this way, one of the world’s most famous towers was built, The Leaning Tower Of Pisa.

tower
Image by Alex from Pixabay/copyright 2020

2)  The Sinking of The Tower of Pisa

In 1178 the campanile began sinking. The reason behind the sinking was that the foundations were laid on weak, unstable, soft ground, and soft soil(subsoil). Due to this, the construction was paused so that the soil could take time to settle.

https://pixabay.com/photos/leaning-tower-of-pisa-italy-tuscany-1066504/
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay/copyright 2015

3) The Reason behind the Curved Shape of Pisa: The Engineers’ Thinking

To compensate for the lean in the tower of Pisa, the engineer Giovanni di Simone thought of building the upper floors of Pisa tower with one side being taller than the other.

The thought of Giovanni di Simone building a tower like this gave the curved shape of the famous tower of Pisa.

Also, the tower is not only tilted towards one angle, but it is tilted in multi directions. During the construction of the campanile, the tower got tilted in many different directions.

Many architects in the past had put efforts into making the leaning tower stand in a vertical posture, but their efforts have gone in vain as either their efforts had no effect on the leaning tower or they have even worsened the tilt in the tower.

Image by Uwe Günther from Pixabay
Image by Philip Base from Pixabay/copyright 2017

4) Galileo Galilei and The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Between 1589 and 1592, the Italian scientist Galileo galilei, one of the most renowned scientists, is said to have dropped two spheres of different masses from the Leaning Tower Of Pisa to show that their time of descent was independent of their mass.

This experiment is mentioned in the biography Racconto Historico Della vita de galileo Galilei.

With this experiment, Galileo discovered that the objects fell with the same acceleration, proving his prediction true, but Most historians argued against his experiment.

A closure look of tower of pisa
Valdas Miskinis from Pixabay/copyright 2019

5) The Seven Bells of The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The leaning tower of Pisa or bell tower is actually a bell tower made up of white marble that consists of seven bells that were rung for the catholic services held in the cathedral.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed as a circular tower that would stand 185 feet high.

There are seven bells in the bell tower, one for each note of the major musical scale. The largest bell was installed in 1655 and weighs around three and a half tonnes.

These were originally operated with the help of some ropes, and they were all swinging. However, at some point in time, their use was forbidden due to the precarious condition of the equilibrium of the tower.
At present, these are operated by electromagnetic hammers. These hammers hit them to produce sound without needing the bells to move. This will not affect the equilibrium of the tower of Pisa and is considered to be safe.

Each of these bells has its own use, such as the 5th bell rings on Easter day and was also used for announcing the execution of criminals and traitors. Therefore, its original name is “The Justice” (La Giustizia).

one of the seven bells
ariesa66 on pixabay /copyright 2017

6) Earthquake Survival of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Four strong earthquakes have hit the region since 1280, but the leaning tower still survived. The reason was understood when a research group of 16 engineers investigated the leaning tower of Pisa.

The researchers concluded that the tower was able to withstand the earthquake because of dynamic soil-structure interaction(DSSI): the height and stiffness of the tower and the softness of the foundation soil together influence the vibrational characteristics of the structure in such a way that the tower does not resonate with earthquake ground motion. The same soft soil that was the cause of the leaning of the tower and even brought the tower to the verge of collapsing helped the tower to survive.

The beauty of tower of pisa
Stefan Schweihofer on pixabay/copyright 2013

7) American Army Spared The Leaning Tower

Yes, you heard that right. The American army spared the bell tower as they were mesmerized by the bell tower’s beauty. During World War II, the Allies suspected that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post, so Leon Weckstein, a U.S. army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower, was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral square or duomo di Pisa and its campanile, and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction. The tower of Pisa would not have survived till now, but the beauty of the tower saved it from its destruction.

beautiful moments near tower
aselent on pixabay/copyright 2015

8) Climbing the Tower

Yes, you can climb the tower as there are around 295 steps that can be climbed within 30 minutes. Until recent years tourists were not allowed to climb the staircase inside the tower of Pisa as some consolidation work was going on, but now the leaning tower of Pisa is open for tourists again.

Climbing the tower is worth it as the top view is too great. Yes, some people might feel nervous as the railing is low, but with some safety measures, one can enjoy the beautiful view.

the tourist at tower of pisa
Heinz Teuber on pixabay/copyright 2013

9) The Inside View of  The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Now, let us talk about the inside view of the bell tower.

When you reach the center of the beautiful tower and use the staircase on your left to enjoy the inside view and enter the room, you will notice the room is empty.

Yes, the room you enter and the whole building are empty.

But there is nothing to be disappointed about as there is also some beauty in that emptiness, and you will start admiring even the smallest things in that empty room.

Stairs at tower of pisa
Image by Jill Mackie from Pixabay / copyright 2014

10) Can The Tower of Pisa Fall

Now, the most interesting question every reader would have in his/her mind is, will the bell tower ever fall? Let us clear your doubt.

According to the architecture and some civil engineering experts, the tower may look like it is about to fall, but it will never fall.

But how is that possible that a monument which looks like that can fall within a few seconds and can’t survive even a minor earthquake or disaster will never fall?

Yes, the tower of Pisa will never fall because of the dynamic soil structure; the engineers determined that the tower’s height and stiffness, “combined with the softness of the foundation soil, causes the vibrational characteristics of the structure to be modified, in such a way that the Tower does not resonate with earthquake ground motion.”

So, you never have to fear that the bell tower might fall on you whenever you visit the tower of Pisa, and you can freely enjoy the view.

beautiful tower of pisa
Hans Kramer on pixabay/copyright 2017

The Timings, Ticket Price, and The Dress Code for Visiting The Tower Of Pisa

Timings:

  • The tower of Pisa is open 7 days a week.
  • The timings usually are between 9 am till 6 pm. The timings are subject to change as the timings keep varying.
  • One may visit the official website, Tower Of Pisa, for accurate timing details.

Ticket Price:

  • The tower of Pisa is a public monument, so there is no fee or ticket to click pictures or enjoy the outer view of the tower of Pisa.
  • To enter and enjoy the inside view of the Pisa tower, one had to buy a skip-the-line Leaning Tower of Pisa Entrance ticket.
  • One may check the official website, Tower Of Pisa, for the ticket price to enter the tower.

Dress Code:

  • There is no particular dress code for entering the tower, but visiting the nearby churches has to follow particular dress codes.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that cover your knees and shoulders.

Few More facts about the Tower

1) On 27 February 1964, the Italian government requested aid in preventing the Tower from collapsing. But the tilt in the tower was equally important as it helped increase tourism in Italy.

2) In 1993, about 870 tonnes of lead were added to the tower to straighten the tower, which actually worked.

3) Pisa’s leaning tower, the nearby cathedral, and baptistery were titled under the UNESCO World heritage sites.

4) Do you know that The tower was closed to the public on 7 January 1990?

After more than twenty years of stabilization studies and shocked by the abrupt collapse of the Civic Tower of Pavia in 1989. The bells were removed to reduce weight, and cables around the third level were anchored several hundred meters away. Apartments and houses that could get in the way of a potential tower fall were vacated.

The selected method for preventing the tower’s collapse was to slightly reduce its tilt to a safer angle by removing 38 cubic meters of soil underneath the raised end. The tower’s tilt was reduced by 45 centimeters, returning to its 1838 position. After so many years of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the bell tower was reopened to the public on 15 December 2001 and was declared stable for at least another 300 years. In total, 70 metric tons of soil were removed to prevent the Tower of Pisa.

5) Do you know about the controversy about the bell tower? No, then let me tell you about this.

There has been controversy surrounding the identity of the architect of the Bell tower of Pisa. For many years, the architect of the bell tower was considered Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano,a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, known for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo. Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, and later on, he died in his hometown.

A piece of the cast with his name was discovered at the foot of the tower around 1820, but this may be part of the bronze door in the cathedral’s façade that was destroyed in 1595. A study that was released in 2001 seems to indicate that Diotisalvi was the original architect of the leaning tower because of the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery that are both in Pisa.

6) The leaning tower is correcting its posture on its own for the past 10 years. And till now, it has straightened itself by four to five centimeters.

It is really worth going to the Tower of Pisa as you would love to see the beauty of the Tower. You can click many pictures at the Tower. Except for the Tower, there are many places nearby that are also amazing to have visited at such as  Duomo di Pisa, Battistero, and Camposanto Monumentale.

 

For any further details, one may visit the official site of leaning tower of Pisa,TOWER OF PISA

For more interesting articles related to such towers, you may visit our website IcyCanada.com

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