The leaning tower of Pisa is placed in the Pisa city of the Tuscany region in western Italy. This tower is the last element of the ceremonial complex in the Piazza Dei Miracoli. In addition, this medieval architectural project, which celebrates Italy culture, features a Cathedral complex housing four more monuments – The Cathedral of Pisa, the Bell Tower of Pisa, the Monumental Cemetery, and the Baptistry. We bring some amazing facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa that you would not have encountered before. So don’t forget to get your Italy visa online to enjoy this fascinating tour to browse these amazing structures in Pisa city.
Unique architectural style & design
A medieval architecture masterpiece built in the Romanesque style. The architects who were involved in designing and building this tower are Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, and Giovanni di Simone with the first phase attributed to Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo di Gherardo, and the second phase attributed to Giovanni Pisano and Giovanni di Simone.
The leaning tower was part of a bigger project.
Don’t be surprised here. The leaning tower was not a standalone, independent project but a part of a bigger project that was conceptualized to represent the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The architectural complex involves four other structures: the Cathedral, its Bell Tower, the cemetery, and the Baptistry. This leaning tower was the last structure built on the site.
It took 2 centuries to construct this tower.
It took an incredible 199 years approximately to complete the entire construction of the leaning tower of Pisa. The construction kicked off in 1173 and winded up in 1372. The tower has witnessed several critical battles in the region, so the construction was halted intermittently. The construction of this tower was split into three phases, with the first phase lasting till 1272. During phase 2, the battle of Meloria took place, halting the construction again. From 1284 to 1319, the last floor was added to the tower completing the final phase of the construction. The bell chamber officially marked the construction as completed several years later, in 1372.
The original reason behind the construction
The last element in the monumental architectural complex in the Squares of Miracles was initially created to envy Pisa city among the tourist population. However, the 11th century saw the successful sacking of the Sicilian Palermo, and the governor of Pisa released an order to start the construction of the Cathedral complex.
The initial structure was not meant to be lean.
This tower’s initial structure and design were to build a straight vertical tower. However, the titling or leaning of this tower when the second floor was completed and the bad soil underneath it made it tilt or lean towards the north. The area’s terrain is majorly made of clay, making it not solid enough to hold on to such a tall building. In addition, the tower foundations were created only 3 meters deep. Many researchers have also concluded that if the construction of the leaning tower of Pisa was not done in phases, we might not have a vertical leaning structure today. In fact, the three phases allowed the soil to settle down below else; this structure would have cured itself much earlier.
The inclination of the Tower of Pisa
You may not agree, but the Leaning Tower of Pisa was initially inclined only by 0.2 degrees when the second-floor construction was completed. When the bell chamber was completed in 1372, the tilt reached a total tilt of 1.6 degrees. Towards the 1990s, the lean further increased to 5.5 degrees. Due to several restoration efforts, the tower’s tilt has been reduced to only 3.97 degrees.
Multiple leaning towers in Pisa
There are several leaning towers in Pisa, but none has caught the attention of the tourist world as much as the leaning tower of Pisa, mainly due to its clay soil. The unstable nature of the clay soil has led to several leaning structures in the area built during the same period. As a result, there are close to 10 leaning structures in Pisa city, with the bell towers of the Church of St. Michele Dei Scalzi and the Church of San Nicola being the notable ones.
A UNESCO-certified World Heritage Site
In 1987, UNESCO certified this complex site as a World Heritage Site. This leaning tower, along with the four buildings part of the overall complex at the Square of Miracle, are excellent examples of medieval architectural design and was instrumental in inspiring and influencing the Italian monument art between the 3 centuries when it was built (1173 – 1399)
The tower is curved and leaning.
The tower is not only lean but also curved across several points within its structure. The engineers went on to fix the first tilting of the tower went and built the upper floors taller than the rest leading the structure to be curved at certain points of its structure.
You will have to climb 3-century steps to reach the top
Enjoy picturesque views of the entire Pisa city when you climb to the top of the Pisa tower. But to enjoy the spectacular view, you must climb 296 steps with no lift or escalator available. Climbing up 300 steps will not be an easy task. However, with the effort you take to climb these steps, the result is totally worth it.
Huge bells decorate the landscape of the tower’s top.
The leaning tower has seven huge bells on its top, conceptualized to represent the nearby Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta bell tower. Each bell on top represents and corresponds to the seven musical notes. However, the bells have not rung since the last century. In fact, many engineers have concluded that the vibrations caused by the bell may comprise the structure and make the structure leaner than before.
Length of the Leaning tower of Pisa
The completed tower was 60 meters and approximately 14,500 tonnes. The height is 56.67m on the highest and 55.86m on the lower sides. The outer diameter of the tower base is 15.484 m, with the width of the base walls being 2.4384m.
We all know the existence of this unique tower. The tilting of this tower has made it even more popular in the tourist world than in some Italian cities. Discover unique facets of the gorgeous square of Piazza Dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) on getting your Italy visa online. You can connect with a reliable travel agent who can partner with you through the entire Italy visa online journey.