The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply Torre di Pisa is the campanile of the Cathedral. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry.
The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the low side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 4.09 m (13.42 ft) and at the top 2.48 m (8.14 ft). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.
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 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.
Phone Number: (+39) 050 560547 - Opera della Primaziale
Fax: 050 560505 - Opera della Primaziale
From 14 June to 15 September evening opening: 20.30-23.00
Price: € 15,00
Price online booking: € 17,00
Tusacny is full of little hill top towns with towers to climb but if your going to climb any make it this one!!
Okay you feel like your drunk as you climb the marble stairs but its a must do thing and well worth a day tip to Pisa to tick it off the list.
Tickets can be bought for climbing the tower. As these tickets are limited to 30 people every 30 minutes I suggest it is done beforehand. The clime is hard for the unfit, fun for the fit, but rewarding. The feeling of climbing something so off centre cannot be explained.
Its just one of those things you see all your life and you expect it to be dissapointing. Then you see it in person, and you think wow now I know why its so iconic. get here early to get tickets to climb the tower.
The Tower is considered as the most distinctive monument in the Piazza dei Miracoli. It was begun in 1173 by Bonanno who ingeniously adopted the motif of the superimposted galleries used on Cathedral facade. After reaching only its third storey, the building of the Tower had to be abandoned due to a subsidence of the soil which caused its characteristic lean. The work was resumed a century later by Giovanni di Simone, who tried to rectify the Tower's inclination and raised it as far as its sixth srorey.
Cylindrical in structure, the Tower is surounded by columned arcades. A spiral staircase of 294 steps leads up to the top, where the bell-tower is situated. The bell-tower was built by Tommaso, son of Andrea Pisano, in the mid-14th century.
The ticket price is rather expensive but I think definitely worth it! To climb the tower is €15. It's actually more expensive to buy your tickets online. And, they have timed visits. We arrived fairly early in the morning, so there was no lines.
The views from the top are phenomenal! And, the staircase is not so narrow that people can pass by if you need a break to rest as you make your ascent.
Please see more photos on my travelogue!
I've never climbed the Tower, not have I ever felt the need to do so.
To me, it is just a rather lovely piece of architecture with an important history and an almost-unique ability to remain standing when off the vertical (but there are two other such towers in Pisa so it's not entirely unique..have a look at my travelogue).
But there are some fascinating small details on the exterior.
Have a look round the back: you'll find a capital with a very strange carving. A monkey stealing oranges? And you'll find another capital with some very odd faces sculpted on it.
Look over the main entrance. What is the significance of the bear and the dragon and the ram on one side, and the bull and dragon and ?bear? on the other?
And what of the two ships with the lighthouse(?) between them? Why are they there?
It is exactly this type of question which makes me wish I could afford a private guide...but there is, of course, no reason why they should know the answers. Often, we do not know what Medieval symbolism actually meant and one can never be 100% certain that any guide is not embroidering the facts.
See if you can find the Green Man. He's a pagan symbol (a face surrounded by greenery, often with greenery actually growing from his face, standing for fertility and new growth) which is found in churches, cathedrals ad religious buildings all over Europe. Like many ancient pagan symbols he was adopted by Christianity in order to more easily convert the unbelievers (most ancient churches were built on pagan sacred sites). I always look for him wherever I go in Europe, and 9 times out of 10 I'll find him somewhere. I'm glad he's on the Tower too. :-)
This is of course the iconic sight of Pisa, and something you just have to see. And yes, it does lean, and yes, as everyone says, it is perhaps not as tall as you might expect of a tower so famous, nor as spectacular, but still – yes, you just have to see it.
The tower is in fact the bell tower, or campanile, of the cathedral. Itwas built between 1173 and the end of the 14th century. It started to lean as soon as the third floor was completed, in 1177, and the works were stopped. A century later the works started again. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built the upper floors with one side taller than the other. This made the tower begin to lean in the other direction, and today, if you look closely at the tower, you can see that it is not only leaning, it is also slightly bent. Over the centuries various attempts had to be made to slow the rate of its tilting, which is caused by the poor drainage of the clay soil beneath. Recent works mean that the Leaning Tower is now "less leaning" than it used to be 5 years ago. Scholars say that it has been brought back to its inclination of 200 years ago. Work is still on-going however, and I was a bit disappointed to find so much scaffolding spoiling my images of it.
The tower is 54 meters tall and has a spiral staircase with 294 steps leading to the top of the tower. You can go up, though you may have to queue for tickets (or better, book in advance online). I confess I would have liked to do this, but Chris wasn’t so keen and time was short so we gave it a miss. But I imagine the views of the Campo dei Miracoli and Cathedral would be really excellent from the top, though the climb up the slanting spiral staircase is apparently something of a challenge.
See my Campo dei Miracoli tip for some information about tickets
The "Leaning Tower of Pisa" is the main attraction to the town of Pisa.
It's off-center lean is quite a sight to see.
After 10 years of preservation work in order to pull the tower back to a lean it had in the early 1700's, the tower is no open to tourists to climb the 294 steps to the top.
This is the only thing that I saw in Pisa, as we only stopped on our way to Florence.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an amazing feat of construction, and if you get the chance while in Italy, it is one of those places that you shouldn't miss.
We climbed the tower, and what a climb it is. It's not for the faint hearted, as the incline on one side is quite steep when climbing the stairs. The view from the top is worth it.
If you don't want to climb the whole way, you don't have to, as there are places on the way up that you can stop.
They are currently doing works on the Tower, to decrease the lean, but they still allow you up, but in smaller groups.
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