Located in the Italian city of Pisa, the tower is known for its distinctive lean, which has made it an enduring symbol of Italy and a popular tourist attraction. Built in the 12th century as a bell tower for the adjacent cathedral, the tower's lean was caused by an unstable foundation and has been the subject of numerous restoration efforts over the years.
Official Name: Leaning Tower of Pisa
Attraction Type: Historical Landmark
Founded: Construction began in 1173 and was completed in the mid-14th century
Area: The tower stands on the Piazza del Duomo in the city of Pisa, Italy, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Architectural Style: Romanesque Architecture
Main Architects: Bonanno Pisano
The foundation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was laid in 1173 and consisted of a circular platform made of white marble and limestone. The platform was built on soft soil, which caused it to sink on one side, leading to the tower's characteristic lean.
The tower's base is made of white marble and has a diameter of 15.5 meters. The base's walls are over four meters thick and are reinforced with arches to support the tower's weight.
The tower body consists of eight floors, with each floor, having a slightly different diameter. The tower is made of white marble and is decorated with blind arches, pilasters, and decorative friezes. The tower's upper floors were constructed with one side taller than the other to counteract the lean.
The bell chamber is located at the top of the tower and houses seven bells. The largest bell, known as the "Pasquale" bell, weighs over 3,600 kilograms and is the heaviest of all the bells.
Over the years, the Leaning Tower of Pisa began to lean more and more, causing concern about its stability. In 1990, extensive restoration was carried out to stabilize the tower and reduce its lean. The tower was closed to the public for over a decade during the restoration, which included the installation of counterweights, the removal of soil from under the foundation, and the reinforcement of the tower's structure
he tower's lean is caused by an unstable foundation. The tower was built on soft ground, and as the weight of the tower increased during construction, the ground began to shift and the tower started to lean.
The tower is approximately 56 meters (185 feet) tall on the high side and 55 meters (183 feet) on the low side.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an example of Romanesque architecture, which is characterized by rounded arches, barrel vaults, and thick walls.
The architect who designed the tower is not definitively known, although it is believed to be either Bonanno Pisano or Diotisalvi.
The tower was constructed in three phases over a period of about 200 years. The first phase involved building the first three levels of the tower, which were completed in 1178. The second phase involved a long hiatus due to wars and political unrest, and construction resumed in the late 13th century. The third phase involved the completion of the upper floors and the installation of the bell chamber.
The tower has undergone several restoration efforts over the years to prevent it from collapsing. The most recent restoration took place from 1990 to 2001 and involved the removal of soil from under the tower and the installation of counterweights to help stabilize it.
Yes, visitors are allowed to climb the tower. There are 296 steps to the top, and the climb can be strenuous due to the tower's lean.
The tower was constructed using white marble, limestone, and sandstone.
he tower was originally built as a bell tower for the adjacent cathedral, but it has also served other purposes throughout history, such as a watchtower and a symbol of the city of Pisa.
The tower took about 200 years to complete, with construction beginning in 1173 and ending in the mid-14th century.
There are seven bells in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one for each note of the musical scale.
The tower leans at an angle of about 5 degrees, which is roughly equivalent to 3.9 meters (12.8 feet) off-center.