Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty

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Leaning Tower Of Pisa Straightens Slightly, Experts Says Landmark Finally Stable After 900 Years

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is now stable and has even straightened slightly thanks to engineering work to save the world-renowned tourist attraction, experts said on Wednesday.

The tower's Surveillance Group, set up to monitor restoration progress, said in a statement that after 17 years of observation "the Tower of Pisa is stable and very slowly reducing its lean."

Engineering Professor Nunziante Squeglia of Pisa University said that the 57-metre (186-feet) monument had straightened by four centimetres (1.5 inches), Italian media reported.

The so-called Surveillance Group was set up after Michele Jamiolkowski, an engineer of Polish origin who adopted Italian nationality, coordinated an international committee to rescue the landmark between 1993 and 2001.

The Tower was closed to the public in January 1990 for 11 years over safety fears, as its tilt reached 4.5 meters (15 feet) from the vertical. It has since been straightened by more than 40 centimetres. The medieval tower, a symbol of the power of the maritime republic of Pisa in the Middle Ages, has leaned to one side ever since building started in 1173.

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Here are some interesting facts about the tower: 

  • Name: Tower of Pisa, Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Construction Year: started in 1173, finished in 1399
  • Original Height: 60 m
  • Actual Height: 56.67m =highest side; 55,86m =lowest side
  • Stairs: 251 steps
  • Weight: 14,500 tonnes
  • Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land”
  • There are 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
  • 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 building 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 Miracoli (Square of miracles).

The project included four representative monuments in the city of Pisa, Italy: the Cathedral of Pisa (Il Duomo di Pisa), the Baptistry, the Bell Tower of Pisa, Monumental Cemetery

  • Architecture style: The leaning Tower of Pisa is a medieval architecture, in Romanesque style
  • Construction time: The construction of Tower of Pisa began in 1173 and was completed in the 14th century, in 1399
  • Design: It is considered that the architects and engineers who designed the leaning Tower of Pisa are: Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Simone

The first phase of Pisa Tower’s construction is attributed to Bonanno Pisano or Gherardo di Gherardo. Giovanni Pisano and Giovanni di Simone continued the second phase of the building. Tommaso Pisano finished the tower’s construction.

(With inputs from towerofpisa.org)

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