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.
Favorite thing: Take a walk around the Square of Miracles and see its four main attractions: the Baptisterium, the symbol of birth; the Cathedral of Maria Asunta, the symbol of life; the monumental cemetery, the symbol of death; and the 'falling' Tower of Pisa.
During our visit the Tower was closed. It was studied to be cure. Because it leans more each year and the Pisan people wants to keep their attraction.
Concrete is injected in the basement to stabilish the Tower.
see the Pisa Leaning Tower (1)
Fondest memory: During the erection of the belfry, the construction suddenly leant because an unsufficient basement. Never mind. The architect continued the building.
No congratulation, mister !
Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
The Tower is actually the belltower for the Cathedral (Duomo) and it is located in the beautiful Campo Dei Miracoli, along with the impressive Cathedral itself and also the lovely Baptistery.
We only stayed briefly, but the Leaning Tower tour was incredible. Anyone who is interested in Pisa will know that the Leaning Tower has now been stablised enough to climb again. It was a real equilibrium trip walking up the stairs on a lean.
Fondest memory: Just being able to say that I climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa is pretty impressive (as far as I'm concerned!!). Not many people in our lifetime can say that... It was worth every minute.
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