The Tower, Pisa

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Piazza Duomo 50 835011/12

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  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    Leaning Tower of Pisa

    by Blatherwick Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Here it is. The most famous architectural mistake ever. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the bell tower, for the Duomo. The construction of the Tower of Pisa began on August 9, 1173 and continued for two centuries. After the third floor was built in 1178, the tower acquired a lean and construction ceased for a century. In 1272, another four floors were built at an angle to compensate for the tilt. Construction again stopped in 1301 and only in 1372 was the last floor built and the bell installed.

    Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped two cannon balls of different masses from this tower to demonstrate their speed of descent was independent of their mass.

    Benito Mussolini ordered the tower returned to a vertical position so cement was poured into its foundation. The results were unexpected and sank the tower further into the soft soil.

    On February 27, 1964, the government of Italy requested aid in preventing the tower from toppling. A multilateral task force of engineers, mathematicians and historians was assigned and met on the Azores islands to discuss stabilization methods. After many decades of work on the subject, the tower was closed to the public on January 7, 1990. Recently, the tower was reopened to the public on June 16, 2001 after a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts.

    Leaning Tower of Pisa
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  • Profsmiley's Profile Photo

    Saving La Torre di Pisa

    by Profsmiley Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The leaning bell tower of the Cathedral is world-famous. The construction of the tower started in 1173 and completed in 200 years with two long interruptions. The architect is unknown. Apparently the tower started to incline during its construction because of the heavy columns they used.

    In recent years, the leaning of the tower has been stopped by interventions through the sub-soil and replacement of some of the original columns.

    Once we were there, it was impossible not to play the rescuer, hence the picture :-)

    It is now possible to climb the tower, though it's better to reserve before you arrive there if you have such desire. Just keep in mind that the fee is not cheap either - € 15,00 each person.

    Saving the Pisa Tower

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  • filipdebont's Profile Photo

    Belfry

    by filipdebont Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This tower is the Campanile (clock tower) for the Cathedral (Duomo). At the 8th order there is the belfry.

    The clock chamber has a smaller diameter then the 7 other storeys.

    Luckily for us the bells did not ring when we were visiting the tower.

    More information on this famous tower at http://torre.duomo.pisa.it/

    The bells
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    The Leaning Tower

    by aminata Updated Apr 4, 2011

    It is the most wellknown attraction of Pisa. You have to go there! You can also climb the tower when you book in advance. The place around the tower is very nice, but with tourist groups from all over the world.

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    The Leaning Tower

    by guell Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The number one reason for coming to Pisa is to see the Leaning Tower.

    Officially known as TORRE PENDENTE DI PISA, the tower was designed by Bonanno Pisano in 1173. Its current tilt is JUST OVER 5 METERS!!

    the leaning tower of Pisa
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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Start your day at the tower

    by Jefie Updated Jul 7, 2010

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    Next to the Eiffel Tower, the leaning tower of Pisa probably is the most famous tower in the world. Construction of the cathedral of Pisa's campanile began in 1173, but after only 5 years (they were working on the third floor at that point) the tower began sinking due to shallow foundations and unstable soil. It took nearly 200 years to complete the tower, both because architects were trying to figure out a way to make the tower stand and also because the city was frequently involved in battles against the cities of Florence, Genoa and Lucca. The top floor was finally added in 1319, and the tower was officially completed with the addition of the bell chamber in 1372. At that time, the tower was already leaning by about 1.5 m and it kept on sinking until major works were undertaken in the 1990s to stabilize the structure. The tower is now leaning by about 4 m and, since 2001, visitors are once more allowed to climb to the top.

    My first impressions of the tower were 1) that its Romanesque architecture was truly beautiful, something that is often overlooked in favour of its more obvious characteristics, and 2) that it was much more tilted than I imagined it to be! I'd seen pictures, of course, but when you're standing next to the tower it's even more impressive. I hadn't really planned on climbing to the top of the tower but since we got to Pisa early on a Monday morning, there were still tickets available so we decided to forget about the price (15 Euros per person!) and go for it. Climbing the tower's circular stairs is a bit of an experience in itself since it's almost like climbing up a boat that's rocking back and forth. Even though the morning mist still hadn't lifted by the time we got to the top, the view of the city, the Piazza dei Miracoli and the surrounding countryside was amazing. So all in all, I'd say it was a bit of an extravagance but it was still money well spent!

    The leaning tower of Pisa Making my way down the narrow staircase At the top of the tower, with Pisa behind me View of the cathedral from its campanile Standing next to one of the tower's 7 bells
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    la Torre di Pisa

    by MM212 Updated May 12, 2010

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    Not only is it leaning, but it is also curved! La Torre di Pisa, the 56-metre round bell tower of the neighbouring cathedral, is one of the most famous and most intriguing monuments in the world. Its construction commenced in 1173 and continued for over 170 years in three phases. Due to a faulty design and a loose soil beneath, the tower began to lean almost immediately, resulting in a halt in the construction. There is great uncertainty over the architect responsible for the first phase, which saw the completion of the first three floors, but some say it was likely Diotisalvi, the same architect who had designed the Baptistry two decades earlier. Might he have been so ashamed by his faulty design that he 'forgot' to etch his name on the tower as he had done on every other edifice he had designed? We may never know. A century later, the architect Giovanni di Simone continued the project and tried to compensate for the tilt by building one side of the upper floors taller than the other, thus causing the tower to tilt in the other direction and giving it the curved appearance we see today. The final phase of construction occurred in the 14th century by the architect Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who added the bell chamber at the top.

    la Torre pendente di Pisa (May 09) Next to the cathedral Leaning tower Top floor Top floor details
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  • Weather in Clothing tips for Italy travel

    by luckzz1000 Written Jan 19, 2010

    Travel Guide Trip & info's : www.madisonvillearts.org
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    In general the weather is very hot and steaming in the dead of the summer. We recommend that you wear light clothing. Be sure to have sunglasses, hat and sunblock, as they are essential. Afternoon thunderstorms (brief) are common in Rome and inland cities, so you may want to consider bringing an umbrella. It is essential to follow dress standards (no bare shoulders or knees) and is strictly enforced in many churches, especially in Rome at St. Peter's and the Vatican Museums and at the Basilica di San Marco in Venice.
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    Travel Guide Trip & info's : www.madisonvillearts.org

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    Leaning Tower

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 6, 2010

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    The renowned architect Bonanno designed this tower, begun in 1173. However, the moist, weak soil caused it to lean. Giovanni di Simone continued the work a century later, trying to rectify the lean. Later, Tommaso Pisano added the bell tower, with seven bells representing the notes of the musical scale of that time.

    In the 1990s, the tower was closed for renovation. During my visit, the authorities were planning to reopen it soon.

    The Leaning Tower of Pisa
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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    The climb of a lifetime

    by Tijavi Updated Sep 21, 2009

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    From the outset, one of my main goals for coming to Italy is to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was something I really wanted to do. And got to do - despite the bad weather that day (think: strong winds with heavy rain!).

    But neither rain nor wind could prevent me from my goal. The first thing that I did on arriving in Pisa was to run to the ticket office behind the cathedral and book a climb. At 15 euros, it was not cheap, but that was immaterial. This is a priceless moment!

    This is the most unique tower climbing I had in Italy. Because it leans, there are moments in the 300-step climb that seemed you were going down rather than up. It could be dizzying for some, but not for me. I enjoyed every step and second of it. And when you've arrived on top, the views are fantastic - even if the heavy winds and rain seem to knock you down and throw you off the tower till kingdom come.

    Yes! I've climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa! The climb is gravity defying at some points Details of the tower up close The tower offers great views of Pisa The Duomo's dome, from the tower
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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    From construction disaster to national icon

    by Tijavi Updated Aug 8, 2009

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    Even at the time of its construction, Pisa's bell tower had already exhibited instability and started to lean on one side. But the tower's builders led by its architect Bonanno Pisano pressed on. The slippage was finally arrested in 1998 finally solved the problem - more than 700 years since the completion of the third tier in 1274.

    Come to think of it, if the construction was aborted, the theory of gravity might not have been discovered by Pisa's most famous son, Galileo. And we would have had a different icon in our pizza (perhaps Rome's Colisseum?) boxes!

    A study in symmetry... ...except for its own positioning. Exquisite details of the tower up close The current lean is now 4.1m from perpendicular Classic picture of tower and cathedral
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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    See the leaning campanile before it's too late

    by csordila Updated Jun 2, 2009

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    This is a fact, that many of the bell towers in Italy are also leaning for one reason or another. (According to the The Guinness Book of World Records the Tower of Suurhusen in Germany is leaner than the Leaning Tower of Pisa ???).
    But none of them famous enough as this one, the 55m high, white marble leaning campanile with an inclination of 5° in southern direction.
    In the past it was widely believed that the inclination of the campanile was part of the project ever since its beginning, but it is not so.
    Incidentally, it started leaning before it was even finished. The reason was the shifting soil as grounding. The builders tried to compensate the leaning, but without any succes.
    However, the lean is greater at the bottom than at the top. If you look at the tower from the appropriate direction you may notice it is really not perfectly straight on one angle.
    A lot of work has gone into its maintenance in the last 50 years to stop it from leaning further, for example injecting concrete into the ground underneath. I have not heard whether these efforts have been completely successful.
    It is difficult to predict whether it will fall or not, however, Pisa without the tower would be Venice without the water!!!

    One more fact has to be added: also Galilei has been reported to have dropped bullets with different mass off the tower and proved that the speed of the freefall is independent from the mass of the bullets.

    I think a visit to Pisa won’t be complete for you without climbing the tower, which is not so easy, because there is some limit of climbers per day.
    It is the best to check in advance to make sure it is open when you go and reserve your place in advance (highly recommended!!!!).

    Opening hours in high season 8:30am - 8:30pm, last entry 8pm.
    For detailed informations check the Website.
    Admission costs €15 (€17 if you book online in advance).
    Online booking: http://boxoffice.opapisa.it/Torre/index.jsp

    , .

    We are about to enter the campanile Landscape from the top Looking downwards Inner wiew The bell
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  • bonio's Profile Photo

    Tower

    by bonio Updated Feb 16, 2009

    OK, I guess the reason we ventured to Pisa, like most other people.
    First impressions are probably the ones that stay with you, yes, it does lean a long way!
    Glad I've been to visit it, and enjoyed my time there, managed to resist the obligatory photo, did enjoy watching others do it though!

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Leaning tower of Pisa

    by cinthya_in_victoria Updated Jan 15, 2009

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    The first impression I had about the tower was that it is not very tall, but as I got closer to it, I find out I was wrong. Indeed it is beautiful and you can go to the top after paying 12€, which I think it is expensive so, I just walked around and of course, I was one of the hundreds of tourists who took a picture of myself holding the tower up; yes a silly picture but what could I do??? hehe! Take a moment to see how other tourists make different posses to get their picture taken, you'll enjoy and laugh a lot about that!

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    La Torre de Pisa-leaning Tower

    by mallyak Written Sep 3, 2008

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    The construction of this imposing mass was started in the year 1174 by Bonanno Pisano. When the tower had reached its third storey the works ceased because it had started sinking into the ground. The tower remained thus for 90 years. It was completed by Giovanni di Simone, Tommano Simone (son of Andreo Pisano), crowned the tower with the belfry at half of 14th century.

    The top of the Leaning Tower can be reached by mounting the 294 steps which rise in the form of a spiral on the inner side of the tower walls.

    This very famous work is of Romanesque style, and as already stated dates back to the year 1174. Cylindrical in shape it is supplied whit six open galleries. A cornice separates these galleries one from the other and each presents a series of small arches fitted on the capitals of the slender columns. In the base there is a series of big blind arcades with geometrical decorations. In the belfry there is the same design of arcades as that of the base, with the difference that here, there are, apart from the reduced proportions, the housings of the bells.

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