The Leaning tower of Pisa is part of the Seven Wonders of the World list. It is a major attraction of Italy visited by people across the globe. Located in Pisa’s Cathedral Square, it is also called the “Tower of Pisa”. It is a standing tower with massive bells and 296 stairs. The tower leaned 5.5 degrees prior to restoration works done in 2001. Today, the bell tower leans about 3.99 degrees. The Leaning Tower of Pisa draws a large crowd because of its engineering and architectural works.
About Leaning Tower of Pisa
The city of Pisa is home to one of the world’s most intriguing freestanding structures. The tower is located behind a cathedral and is the third oldest in Pisa’s Cathedral Square. The tower is 55.86 meter tall and 4.09 meter in body width. The top of the tower measures 2.48 meter. The total weight of the cube stone structure is 14,500 metric tons. It vertically leans to the south from its base. During the Second World War, it served as an observation tower for the Nazis as discovered by the Aries.
The tower was declared a World Heritage Site and part of the Piazza del Duomo along with the cathedral.
Construction of Leaning Tower of Pisa
Construction of the tower occurred in three stages across 177 years. Work on the first floor of the white marble campanile began on August 8, 1173
The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the third floor in 1178. The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372.
Up in the belfry, the weight of the bells caused the structure to tilt even further. By the late 20th century the tower was leaning more than 17 feet toward the south, and a rescue operation was begun. Engineers removed soil from under the north side of the tower to even out the differences in the foundation. During the restoration, visitors were not allowed to enter the tower and climb the 293-step spiral staircase to the top.
Leaning Tower of Pisa features
Some significant features of the Leaning Tower interest tourists and students even now. Before you visit Pisa, know what makes this tower holds a special place in the history of architecture and engineering. Below given are few such characteristics of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Total number of stairs – 296 (until the 7th floor)
- Number of bells: seven
- Total story: Eight
- Height from the ground floor: 55.863 meters (183 ft 3 in), 8 stories
On January 7, 1990, after over two decades of stabilization studies, the tower was closed to the public. The bells were removed to relieve some weight, and cables were cinched around the third level and anchored several hundred meters away
In May 2008, after the removal of another 70 metric tons (77 short tons) of earth, engineers announced that the Tower had been stabilized such that it had stopped moving for the first time in its history. They stated it would be stable for at least 200 years.