standard Tower of Pisa , Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply Tower of Pisa (La Torre di Pisa) located in Pisa , Italy is one of the most famous Italian buildings .Tower of Pisa is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo).

Tower of Pisa

Tower of Pisa - Italy

The total height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground towards the lower side . Its width from the bottom is measured 4.09 m (13.42 ft) and 2.48 m (8.14 ft) from the top. The Tower of Pisa total weight is 14,500 metric tons and has 296 steps.

Construction

Tower-of-Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Tower of Pisa is famous because it leans. Although it was designed to be perfectly vertical, it started to lean during construction. Tower began leaning soon after construction started in August 1173. It tilts because its foundation was built on unstable soil. The ground beneath the tower first started to sink after the first three stories were built.

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, during a period of military success and prosperity. Work was suspended several times as engineers worked to find a solution, but the tower was still leaning when it was completed in 1350.

Design

The architectural design remained unchanged as original Romanesque designs. The leaning Tower of Pisa was designed as a circular bell tower . It is constructed of white marble. The tower has eight stories, including the chamber for the bells. The bottom story consists of 15 marble arches. Each of the next six stories contains 30 arches that surround the tower. The final story is the bell chamber itself, which has 16 arches. There is a 297 step spiral staircase inside the tower leading to the top.

Restoration

Over the years various attempts had been made to straighten the tower, including the injection of cement into the foundations and various types of bracing, but the structure was still leaning at the rate of 0.05 inches (1.2 mm) per year and in serious danger of collapse.Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in) from perfectly vertical.

Tower of Pisa tourists

Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa , Italy

Until recent years tourists were not allowed to climb the staircase inside the tower, due to consolidation work. But now the leaning Tower of Pisa is open again and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has magnificent architecture, which is an example of the Romanesque style. The round tower is made of fine multicolored marble and has eight stories in all, each surrounded by an arcaded gallery. Inside the tower is a 294-step spiral staircase leading to the bell chamber. Visitors are now allowed to climb the tower in small groups, to admire not only the interior of the tower but also see  the magnificent Piazza del Duomo from the top.

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