Things You Need to Know About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

by Tours of Tuscany
Things You Need to Know About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Things You Need to Know About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Torre pendent di Pisa (or the Leaning Tower of Pisa), is the world-famous bell tower of the cathedral of the city of Pisa, located in Tuscany, Italy. Almost anyone is likely recognize this leaning structure – and if you decide to take a trip to the breathtaking region of Tuscany anytime soon, you may want to pay it a visit.

Things you may not know about the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Why does the bell tower lean to one side?

When creating plans for the tower, architects didn’t take into account that Pisa plays host to marshy land, and that the weight and shape of the structure would influence the end result. Issues began to arise when constructing the second story, when builders began to notice that it had started to sink on one side. By this point it was too late to turn back, and work continued with a focus on rectifying the effects of the settling as much as possible.

Initial attempts saw builders adding taller columns and arches on the south side of the structure, but unfortunately, the tower was still leaning by the time they reached construction of the 4th story. Unsure of what to do next, work halted for almost a century.

The mistakes made haven’t been too detrimental in the long run though, as it has led to the building being recognized as one of the most famous structures in the world.

It hasn’t always tilted in the same direction

Over the course of hundreds of years, countless engineers tried to set the bell tower straight. For instance, when the 3rd story was being constructed, engineers tried to correct it by building in an upwards direction – but this didn’t quite help. Instead of fixing the issue, the center of gravity of the building was thrown off balance, and it began to lean in the opposite direction instead.

As work on Tuscany’s most famous bell tower continued, it began to lean back towards the south, where it has since stayed.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is stable

You may not know this, but there’s no longer any need to worry about the structure’s stability. During the 21st century, someone finally managed to make the tilted structure safe. In fact, it was declared in 2001 that the building will be functionally stable for at least 200 years – and in 2008, it was reported that the bell tower was no longer sinking.

You could climb to the top

Countess people now climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa every day – thanks to the fact that it’s monitored closely for structural issues. If you’re feeling brave and adventurous, you might want to climb the bell tower for yourself (tickets and bookings to do so are available).

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