The Tower, Pisa
Okay so while I am not the biggest tourist fan, there ARE places in the world where you go and follow all the tourists to see special things, such as THE Leaning Tower of Pisa. Not often am I impressed by a "mere" building, but this tower for some reason is very special, it seems to have a presence that is very striking. The tourists, us included, are always up to the funniest anticts, especially those who are trying to help "hold up" the leaning tower so that it will not fall over as you watch.
For more on the history of this I have attached a web link below.
Fondest memory: http://touritaly.org/tours/Tuscany/Pisa/CampoDeiMiracoli.htm
This is my ticket to the top of the Tilted World.
I had to wait for like 3 hours before my turn was granted to climb up the Torre di Pisa.
The ticket says:
My turn was at 5 pm on 14th june 2003.
I could stay up there for about 30 minutes.
The cost of the ticket was/is 15 Euros.
It was worth the wait for me !
I reallu loved the churches,the architecture is amazing, wonderful
Fondest memory: Well, When I saw the tower ,I really felt lucky, such an amazing building, enormous and famous that everybody wanna see, my best memory is just.been there
Construction History on the Tower:
- The works on the foundation started on 9 August 1173.
- The tower was constructed in the course of about 200 years.
- The third order had only just been completed when, in c. 1178, the building works were suspended.
- Around 1272 the construction was recommenced, only to be interrupted again, at the level of the 7th cornice, in c. 1278.
- The construction of the belfry (8th order) began around 1360 and was completed 10 years later.
Fondest memory: the leaning of the tower
Some facts on the tower:
- The height of the building from the foundations to the belfry is c. 60 m.
- The tower weighs c. 14.500 tons.
- The Tower is shaped like a hollow cylinder formed by two concentric walls (in marble blocks) which contain mortar and matter.
- A spiral stair within the cylindrical body allows access to the arcaded storeys and to the summit of the Tower.
- The inclination is c. 5.5 degrees towards the south; this means that the seventh cornice protrudes about 4.5 meters over the first cornice.
- The staircase consists of approximately 300 steps.
Fondest memory: climbing the tower
Torre Pendente or the Leaning Tower (or De Scheve Torre in 't Vlaems).
Tourist attraction number one in Pisa, maybe even in Italy.
What the Colloseum is for Rome, is the Leaning Tower for Pisa.
Of course it is also one of the wonders on the Field of miracles (Campo dei Miracoli).
Fondest memory: the leaning tower
Favorite thing: Begun in 1173, the tower began to tip sideways before the 3rd storey was completed. Even so, construction continued until its cempletion in 1350. Recently the tilt has increased, so visiting tower is limited and not many people can go inside (inless if you've got a lot of time...).
The only thing we knew about Pisa before coming here was they had this tower. We soon found out all about it:
They started building the tower in 1173 and when they came to the third floor the tower started to sink away at one end. The builders just went on with their job and in 1350 the 8-storey tower was finished. In 1350 the tower was 1.4 meters of center. In 1817 it was already 3.8 meters. After recent restoration works the 54.5 meter high tower is just over 5 meters of center.
Fondest memory: When I was there they still hadn't worked out satisfactorily how to stop the leaning tower from falling over completely. Over the years various schemes had been tried with varying degrees of success. During my visit the tower was closed to visitors and lead weights had been put on the base to prevent it from falling over. I believe now that the problem has been resolved and once again the tower is open so visitors can climb it again.
Think about the law of gravity. It has been speculated that since this building defy gravity, it has to be where scientist Galileo had experimented with the law of gravity & established his famous law of physics.
Galileo was born in Pisa in 1564 & the Leaning Tower would have offered an ideal setting for his experiments with gravity whereby the dropping of objects from the top in order to demonstrate that the speed of their acceleration would be the same regardless of weight!
The only 'big' attraction in this town is the tower. Since we are all here for it, we should at least have some facts here. Right?
Ok, the Leaning Tower is in fact part of a magnificent ensemble of cathedral, baptistery, bell tower & cemetry. It was built in 1173 & the original architects were Bonnano Pisano & William of Innsbruck.
Some have speculated that the tower was intended to lean but the more probable explanation would be the less than solid ground which the designers knew & therefore provide some allowance for this in their plan!
Favorite thing: As most backpackers in the 70’s, we had little money. It cost a bundle to get into the tower, so we just enjoyed it from the outside. I didn’t really mind as it was great just being there and seeing it. It was also a great pastime watching other people looking at the tower. It hardly ever fails. They look up, and then they tilt their head. They always tilt their head the same way the tower is leaning! I never saw a person tilt their head the other way. The morale? I don’t have the faintest clue… In fact I don’t know why I am writing this lol
Favorite thing: Here it is the famous Leaning Tower, the campanile of the cathedral. This rises in eight stages to 180 ft and with an inclne from the vertical of about 16 ft. Begun in 1173, the belfry was only 35 ft high when a subsidence of the soil threw it out of the oerpendicular. During the 13th century building continued with an attempt to rectify the inclination. The tower as it now stands was completed about 1350. (In the recent past has been closed to the public for works for warious years, as there was the serious risk that the tower 'd have fallen down. Close by is the cathedral built in 1063-1092, one of the finest monuments of Italian Romanesque, with horizontal banding of red and white marble and elliptical dome. Facing the west front of the cathedral is the Baptistry by Dioti Salvi, begun in 1152, and with Gothic dome added in the 14th century; it contains a pulpit that was the masterpiece of Nicola Pisano. Camposanto, a cloistered burial ground dating from the 13th century and completed in the 15th, was largely ruined in the Second World War. These buildings, in which repeated arcading creates a notable and unifying feature, form one of the mosta attractive and impressive groups in Europe.
Favorite thing: The tower shifted and began to sink in 1178 and continued leaning ever since. Construction was hovering for a century and finally resumed, with completion in the 14th century. Where the tower is being contructed the soil is found to be insufficiently resistant to bear the weight of the tower. The tower was closed to the public in 1990 for repair work. Over the years, architects have tried in vain to stabilize the unfortunate ‘tilt’. The tower is now scheduled to reopen to visitors sometime in late 2001. More info on the tower is on its official website http://torre.duomo.pisa.it/
Fondest memory: Both because of its inclination, and its beauty, from 1173 up to the present the Tower has been the object of very special attention. During its construction efforts were made to halt the incipient inclination through the use of special construction devices; later colums and other damaged parts were substituted in more than one occasion; today, interventions are being carried out within the sub-soil in order to significantly reduce the inclination and to make sure that Tower will have a long life.