The Piazza Dei Duomo maybe a Unesco World Heritage site and is really beautifual work of art, but the singular structure that put Pisa on the World Map is the lowly Campanile (Belfry) of the Cathedreal Santa Maria Assunta that has been leaning for several hundred years as it was made into an unstable ground foundation. It is the third oldest structure in the square, made in 1173 but finished in 1372 and was built by Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, in a Romanesque Pisan Design and made of white marble.
the tower is 8 floors and has dimensions of 55.86 meters from the ground on the low side and 56.67 meters on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 meters . It has a present tilt of 3.9 meters (5.5 degrees) from the center as the former tilt was 17 degrees which was corrected and the foundation strengthened in the 1990's.
There are thousands of people having selfie pictures and videos and photos around the tower and if you want to enter the tower, you need to buy admission tickets at the Opera della Primaziale Pisana Building across the tower and they cost 18 euros to enter the tower and climb the 294 steps to the top. they only allowed a certain number of people per 30 minutes in the tower.
10:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday
tell no: +39 050 835011
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!
One of the world’s strangest architectural oddities, the Leaning Tower or Torre Pendente is what everyone comes to Pisa to see. The lean is believed to be caused by shifting soil and in fact it has been leaning ever since the first stages of construction by its architect, Bonanno Pisano. Various attempts have been made to reduce the lean which has resulted in closures to visitors. At the time of writing it was open and attracting long queues but in my opinion this is one monument best appreciated from ground level.
The classic photo opportunity for tourists here is to pose in front of the tower with arms and hands outstretched in an apparent attempt to hold up the tower looking, at first glance, like they are practising tai chi.
Everyone knows The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the tower is a freestanding bell tower , or Campanile , which like the Duomo in the Campo dei Miracoli , the wonders of the field
Designer of the tower was probably Diotisalvi, the original intention was to build a vertical tower but shortly after the start of construction in 1173, the building began to tilt
That was because of the soggy ground , which is inherent in Pisa, eventually it took two hundred years to build the tower, the Campanile has six floors with colonnades , is on top of the bell chamber the tower has stylistically fact the same structure as the Duomo
In 1991 the tower was closed to the public , because scientists feared that the tower would go further and further through hells , a series of architectural interventions implemented
Since 2001 visitors can climbed again to the spiral staircase to the top
There were at least six Pisanos who worked on the buildings at the Campo Sancto. Besides the famous Nicola (creator of the Baptistry's Pulpit) and his son Giovanni (creator of the Duomo's Pulpit), there was at the same time working there the unrelated Bonanus (Bonanno Pisano), the first architect of the Leaning Tower. During this period Bonanno also created the bronze doors of the west facade of the Duomo and another set for the South entry. Andrea (again not related), at this time was sculpting the central highest figure on the west front of the Duomo. A generation later Tomasso de Pontedere, a son of Andrea, was in charge of the rebuilding of the belfry of the Campanile, assisted by his brother Nino. We could not climb on the Tower during our visits during the 1990's, while the lean was beings adjusted, and after 2002 we were too old to climb up.
While others marvel at the incline of the tower and the fun hike up it I was intrigued by the bells that have been placed on the tower.
A total of seven bells are in place on the Leaning Tower of Pisa. . All of them have names and their size range from 140 to 3620 kg. Five of the bells are visible when you get off on the first level of the tower. Two others are located in what is called the upper arcade and require a little bending and neck stretching.
The two prettiest of the bells deserve a little notation and are also the ones I took pictures of.
Pasquerecia - is the oldest of the bells on the tower and was cast around 1262. It also has the most adoration on it including an inscription noting where it was made and the name of the foundry, multiple arabesques, an eagle, a winged horse, and multiple roseaces. This bell originally hung at the Pisa Tower of Justice and was rung to announce prisoners heading for capital execution.
Il Asunta- is the largest of the bells and from what I could see the prettiest of the bells. Perhaps its beauty is attributable to the fact that is made of gold. At 3620 kg, it is almost twice the size of the second largest bell. It was cast by Giovanni Orlandi in 1654.
The bells for hundreds of years were rung by using bell chords that were attached to the ground. This practice stopped in the early 20th century for fear that the two largest of the bells were too heavy and may break free.
The bells are only visible if you climb the tower. I heard no bells chiming during our visit to the tower.
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.
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