The Leaning Tower of Pisa, also known simply as the Tower of Pisa, is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral in the Italian city of Pisa, famous worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean caused by an unstable foundation.
The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century due to soft ground that could not properly support the structure’s weight, and it worsened until it was completed in the 14th century. The tilt had reached 5 12 degrees by 1990. Between 1993 and 2001, the structure was stabilized by remedial work that reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.
The Tower of Pisa is more accurately known as the Campanile, or bell tower.
The Pisa Tower is one of four buildings that comprise the Campo dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli, which means “Field of Miracles” in Pisa, Italy.
The cathedral, or Duomo di Pisa, was the first structure built at Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, and it stands on a white marble pavement and is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture.
With 207 columns spanning eight stories, the Tower of Pisa resembles a massive wedding cake that has been knocked precariously off-kilter by a clumsy giant guest.
The construction of the Tower of Pisa began in August 1173 and lasted approximately 200 years due to the outbreak of a series of wars. The architect’s identity remains unknown to this day.
The Cathedral of Pisa and the Leaning Tower of Pisa The Leaning Tower of Pisa was intended to be a 185-foot-tall circular bell tower. It’s made out of white marble.
The tower has eight stories, including the bell chamber. The bottom story is made up of 15 marble arches. Each of the following six stories has 30 arches that surround the tower.
The final story is about the bell chamber, which has 16 arches. Inside the tower, a 297-step spiral staircase leads to the top. The top of Pisa’s leaning tower is approximately 17 feet off the vertical.
The tower is also slightly curved as a result of various architects’ efforts to keep it from leaning further or collapsing. Many solutions for straightening the Tower of Pisa have been proposed, including dismantling it stone by stone and rebuilding it in a different location.
The tower’s foundations were injected with cement grouting in the 1920s, which helped to stabilize the structure.
Due to construction work, tourists were not permitted to climb the staircase inside the tower until recently. But, now that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is open again, it is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions.