Leaning Tower of Pisa history
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was the result of a human error. A simple miscalculation in the 11th century resulted in an incredible 14,500-ton leaning tower!
This square is also known as Piazza dei Miracoli, or “Miracles’ Square,” after Italian author Gabriele D’Annunzio.
The entire square was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
The Leaning Tower is the third oldest structure in the square, following the magnificent Cathedral and its Baptistry.
With its numerous columns and arches, this Tower demonstrates an advanced understanding of weight and load characteristics.
It demonstrates the expertise of Italian architects.
So, why is the Tower swaying? The architect overlooked the Tower’s base, built on a dense clay section.
Experience the marvel that defied gravity! Buy your tickets in advance and lean into the history of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The history of the leaning tower of Pisa is filled with centuries of architectural wonder and engineering challenges.
This remarkable building, known for its tilt, has a long and fascinating history spanning over eight centuries.
Originally intended to be a grand bell tower for Pisa’s cathedral, this magnificent architectural marvel faced numerous challenges throughout its construction.
These challenges ultimately resulted in its unique characteristic that continues to capture the imagination of visitors.
Construction history of Leaning Tower of Pisa
Although the Duomo’s 58-meter-high bell tower took over 200 years to finish, it was already in disrepair when it was unveiled in 1372.
The bell tower was built as the third and final part of the city’s cathedral complex in 1173.
Although the original architect of the Tower has yet to be discovered, architect Bonanno Pisano started the project under his direction.
When did the tiling begin?
Because of the soft ground beneath the building’s foundations, the Tower began to tilt soon after construction began.
While the Tower was supposed to be perfectly straight, the soil could not support the weight of solid white marble and began to sink.
Construction being halted
The tilt had worsened so much when they built three of its eight floors that they had to halt construction in 1178 to find a solution.
Meanwhile, a war erupted between Pisa and the nearby city-state of Genova, halting construction for about 100 years.
Resumption of Work on the Pisa Leaning Tower
The soil beneath the structure was in better condition when they began after a century’s break. Giovanni di Simone took over the second phase of construction in 1260.
He started looking for ways to correct the tilt.
De Simone and his crew worked 12 years to raise the Tower by about 24m (doubling its height) without collapsing.
Tommaso Pisano directed the final construction round, which began around 1350 and finished on the 8th floor.
The Tower’s seven bells were installed after construction in 1372. This incredible work of art and engineering took 200 years to complete.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa began as a failure and has become one of the most remarkable engineering feats.
The Tower’s inclination has been steadily increasing since 1178. The monument was closed at the turn of the century (1990 to 2001) because its stability became a significant concern.
The lean angle reached 5.5° at its peak (1993) before being “fixed” to less than 4°.
Makeovers Can Be Dangerous
Alessandro della Gerardesca attempted to increase the Tower’s value in 1838 by exposing its beautifully carved base.
He was a well-known architect who believed that exposing the Tower’s base would benefit Pisa.
The base was buried underground, concealing much of the intricate artwork.
He ordered to dig the base out of the ground, and the Tower’s inclination increased due to the digging.
The work ceased immediately after the base was cleaned and set up as we know it today.
Attempts by Mussolini to Correct the Tilt
The Italian dictator Mussolini asserted that the Leaning Tower was an embarrassment and that its inclination should be corrected.
He had some people drill holes around the Tower.
Engineers drilled 361 holes in the foundations and poured 90 cubic meters of concrete into them.
As a result, the monument’s inclination increased dramatically.
Mussolini abandoned his architectural ambitions, leading Italy to war a few years later.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa during the WWII
World War II wreaked havoc all over the world. On the other hand, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was extremely lucky.
After American forces entered Pisa, they announced a retreat and planned to destroy all buildings.
The majority of the buildings in Italy were destroyed, but the Leaning Tower of Pisa was spared.
Survival in the face of Earthquakes
At least four severe earthquakes have struck the region since 1280, but the ostensibly vulnerable Tower of Pisa has survived.
It was discovered that due to the unique nature of the soil beneath the structure, it does not resonate with earthquake ground motion.
The same loose soil that caused the Tower to tilt and nearly topple helped it survive.
Italy’s Aid Request
On 27 February 1964, the Italian government announced that it sought suggestions to prevent the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa from collapsing.
Experts warned that an earthquake or storm could cause the ancient structure, one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, to collapse.
Proposals worldwide arrived in Pisa to save the Leaning Tower, but successful restoration work did not begin until 1990.
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Today’s Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa began to correct its position over the next decade after the last restabilization activity in 1990.
It has been saved and will continue to slant for a long time. Now it is secure and stable.
However, because of counterweights and advanced engineering, the Tower of Pisa isn’t leaning as much as it did in the past.
In 2001, they reopened the Pisa Tower with a more controllable lean. In 2008 they discovered they had corrected the Tower’s position by 19 inches.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is now one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is part of the Piazza del Duomo.
When was the Leaning Tower of Pisa made?
The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173. The tower took over 200 years to construct and is infamous for its unintentional tilt.
What was the original purpose of Leaning Tower of Pisa?
The original purpose of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was to serve as the bell tower for the adjacent Pisa Cathedral.
The tower was intended to house the bells calling the faithful to worship and mark significant church and city events.
Who built the Leaning Tower of Pisa and why?
The most accredited architects of this first phase of work are Bonanno Pisano, and Gherardo din Gherardo.
Giovani di Simone did the second phase of construction. It was built to serve as the Pisa Cathedral’s complex’s bell tower.
What is the history behind the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
In 1173, they commenced constructing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, with a specific purpose: to serve as the complex’s bell tower.
It was a busy trade center on the Arno River in western Italy. The Tower’s foundation began to sink into the soft, marshy ground while construction continued, causing it to lean to one side.
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