|Name||Tower of Pisa, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Bell Tower of Pisa|
|Italian Name||Torre Pendente di Pisa|
|Location||City of Pisa, Italy|
|Construction||Started in 1173; finished in 1399|
|Original Height||60 m. (196.85 ft.)|
|Actual Height||56.67 m. (185.93 ft.) — highest side; 55.86 m. (183.27 ft.)- lowest side|
|Weight||14,500 tonnes (31,967,028 lbs.)|
|Tourists / Year||1,000,000+|
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located next to the Cathedral of Pisa, in Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of miracles) in the city of Pisa, Italy.
The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and especially its completion, represents the last element in the compliment of the ceremonial complex of monuments that enrich the Piazza dei Miracolo (“Square of Miracles”).
The complex included four monuments in the Italian city of Pisa: the Baptistry, the Cathedral of Pisa (Il Duomo di Pisa), the Monumental Cemetery and the Bell (now known as “Leaning”) Tower of Pisa.
Architecture style: The Leaning Tower of Pisa is of medieval architecture, in Romanesque style.
Construction time: The construction of Tower of Pisa began in 1173 and was completed late in the 14th century, in 1399
Design: It is thought (although not sure) that there were several architects and engineers who designed the leaning Tower of Pisa. See the History of the Leaning Tower of Pisa page for more detailed information on the builders and architects credited with the tower’s construction.
- The town of Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.”
- There exist several other towers in Pisa that also lean: the bell tower at the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi, and the bell tower at the church of St. Nicola.
- The cathedral and baptistery are also sinking, due to the marshy nature of the local land.
- Galileo was baptized in the baptistery in 1565.
- The foundation of the cemetery, Campo Santo, is made up of 53 shiploads of earth that were brought back from the Hill of Calvary in Jerusalem.
The original completed height of the Tower of Pisa is 60 meters (196.85 feet). Actually the tower’s present height is 56.67 m. (185.93 ft.) on the highest side and 55,86 m. (183.27 ft.) on the lowest side.
- The outside diameter of the leaning Tower of Pisa’s base is 15.484 meters (50.80 feet).
- Width of walls at base is 2.4384 meters (8.0 feet).
- Weight of tower is approximately 14,500 tonnes (30,864.7 pounds).
- There are 297 steps from the bottom to the top of the Pisa tower.
The Leaning Tower is been subject to several restoration and stabilization projects; not only due to the towers unstable nature, but also due to its age and exposure to wind and rain.
The first stabilization project was initiated in the 1960’s, when the engineers realized that the tilt was increasing in combination with a softer foundation. Many methods for stabilizing the Leaning Tower were discussed, including the addition of 800 tons of lead counterweights to the raised end of the base.
Later, in 1990, a massive restoration and stabilization project was initialized. During this project, the Leaning Tower was closed to the public and the bells were removed to relieve some weight. The plan was to straighten up the tower by removing 38 cubic meters of soil from underneath the raised end using special drills. In order to keep the Leaning Tower stable during this daring project, several heavy cables were cinched around the third level and anchored several hundred meters away. Apartments and houses in the path of the tower were also vacated for safety.
In 2001, the project was finally completed and the Leaning Tower had been straightened by 45 centimeters, returning to the exact position it had in 1838. After these massive reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the tower was reopened to the public in December 2001 and was declared stable for at least another 300 years.
Why visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa ?
The 56 meter high Leaning Tower of Pisa is world famous, not only for its beautiful looks, but mainly for its heavy tilt. It is one of the heaviest leaning towers in the world – and for sure the most famous one.
Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the Leaning Tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans about 4 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is almost four meters from where it would stand if the tower were perfectly vertical.
If one feels ambitious, and isn’t afraid of heights, a trip to the top of the Leaning Tower is highly recommend. While almost 300 steps will take some time to climb, it provides a great view of Piazza dei Miracolli and the city of Pisa.
Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the region’s number one tourist destination – attracting people from all over the world. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and without a doubt one of the world’s most famous towers.