Did you know? – Leaning Tower of Pisa

Everything you wanted to know about the Leaning Tower of Pisa

updated :  19-June-2022

What is the Italian Name of leaning tower of Pisa ?
Torre Pendente di Pisa

Where is this tower located ?
 City of Pisa, Italy.

When was the construction started ?
Construction started in 1173

When did the construction of the tower finish ?
Construction finished in 1399

What was the original Height of the tower?
 60 m

What is the actual Height of the tower?
56.67m ( on the highest side)    55,86m ( on the lowest side )

How many steps are there in the tower ?

On the north side of the tower there are 294 steps, and on the south side, there are  296 steps.

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5 Things to Know About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most memorable and exciting experiences you will have in your life. Despite its leaning position, the tower is stable and will be for many years to come. It took a lot of work to get it built, and Benito Mussolini considered it a mistake. But it is still an amazing feat of engineering, and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

It took 199 years to build

Originally, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a freestanding bell tower in the Pisa Cathedral. The design of the tower was flawed from the beginning. Eventually, a series of accidents and construction stops halted the tower’s construction. However, the tower still leans. The lean was largely caused by unstable ground.

The first phase of construction began in 1173. Architects built the ground floor and the foundations of the tower. The foundations were laid on soft, unstable soil. It took over a hundred years for the soil to settle.

The second phase of construction began in 1178. The second and third floors were built on the opposite side of the tower’s incline. This approach caused the tower to lean even more. Eventually, the third floor was cut back due to cave-ins.

Construction stopped again in 1284. The Pisans lost a war to Genoa. In addition, the Pisans were allied with other Italian city-states in conflicts. The Republic of Pisa was often thrown into wars, making the construction of the tower put on hold.

It tilted because of heavy cement

During the construction of the tower, a heavy cement layer was pumped into the base of the tower. This caused the tower to tilt. This led to a series of attempts to stabilize the tower.

The most successful attempt to stabilize the tower was a project led by British engineer John Burland. Burland was a specialist in consolidation works with soft clay. He led a group of 13 experts in the field who designed and implemented a stabilization plan for the tower. The goal was to return the tower to a four-degree angle.

Although the project was successful in stabilizing the tower, it did not prevent the tower from tilting. This is because the tower was built on shells and fine sand, causing the soil to interact with each other. The soil mix was more compressible on the south side of the tower than the north.

Benito Mussolini considered it a mistake

Among the most iconic monuments in the world is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower has been swaying southward for nearly a millennium. It is a tourist attraction that attracts over five million visitors a year.

The tower is constructed on a treacherous subsoil. It is a common practice in Italy to build belltowers to compliment churches. When building the tower, the architects did not consider the subsoil when they were planning the foundation. This resulted in a heavy foundation that made the tower lean.

Benito Mussolini, a famous Italian dictator, was not fond of the tower. He considered it an embarrassment to Italy. He ordered a massive restoration plan to straighten the tower.

Benito Mussolini drilled hundreds of holes into the base of the tower. He also pumped tons of cement into the foundation. He believed this would stabilize the structure.

Benito Mussolini’s fix made the tilt worse. The tilt was 5.5 degrees, and it had been increasing by about a fraction a year.

It’s predicted to remain stable for 200 years

Despite its reputation as a leaning tower, Italian engineers have announced that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is stable and will stay that way for the next 200 years. A local tourism official says that no one wants to see the monument straightened.

The tower, located in Tuscany, Italy, has been leaning for nearly 840 years. During its early construction, it was built on soil that caused differential settlement. Soft ground and a high water table resulting from the medieval period caused the tower to tilt. It has survived four strong earthquakes in the region since 1280. It has also been protected from earthquakes because of underground tunnels that make it highly resistant to seismic activity.

The tower is 57 meters tall. It is one of the most iconic sights in Italy. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.

The leaning tower was constructed between 1173 and 1372. The monument has been a tourist attraction for centuries and attracts millions of visitors each year.