What do you think when you heard about the tower of Pisa? Is it a weird structure? Well, most people will think that as its only notable feature. To be honest, there are more, many more interesting facts about this Italian tower. Interested in knowing more about this tower? Make sure to learn that below.
What Is So Special about Tower of Pisa?
First, you should know that Pisa itself is a name of a province. It may not be the capital of Italia—we know its capital is Rome—but this province seems to never run out of visitors. The main attraction? Of course, the peculiar standing tower!
Despite this major attractant, there are unique facts you should know about this tower. From its history to other unique features, let’s dig deeper to know Pisa tower better.
Battles stopped the construction of this power
We know that medieval times are full of wars. And you should know that this tower was built during those years. To be exact, the first stage of the tower’s construction started in 1173 and it finished in 1372. Now let your calculator counts how many years it is required to build this tower of Pisa.
Those 199 years were then set into several different phases. The first phase, which started in 1173 until 1272, the constructors had to be the manpower in battles of Pisa and Genoa. And let’s not forget about Lucca and Florence battle as well.
The second phase, which lasted from 1272-1284, was interfered by the Battle of Meloria. In this battle, the people of the Republic of Pisa were defeated by Genoa—making the construction of the tower needed to be halted once again.
The third phase was actually ending in 1319—and that was exactly when the last floor was built as the latest addition of the tower. Five decades later in 1372, the bell chamber eventually complemented the tower’s construction which was halted many times due to battles here and there.
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It’s a world heritage site
Although it seems like many people already know this, let’s learn it once again that the tower of Pisa is a World Heritage Site. The title was given by UNESCO in 1987, and the Pisa tower official name Piazza del Duomo was also listed.
Pisa tower is one amongst several big buildings in a site complex named Square of Miracle. This complex will provide you an insight how the medieval architecture looks like within the 11th and 14th centuries.
The tower was part of a larger architectural complex
As said in the previous subheadings, this tower isn’t standing alone. It simply means the tower has some ‘friends’ that worth to visit as well.
First, you should know that the tower of Pisa itself acts as the bell tower of the nearby cathedral, which name is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Extend your walking area, and you will find that not only this cathedral and the bell tower which exist on the complex.
So, what are the other parts of the complex? Turns out it is a Baptistry as well as a cemetery (Camposanto¬). These buildings, including the cathedral, were built earlier than the tower. It seems like the popular tower of Pisa was the last touch to this magnificent architectural complex. Don’t forget to bring your camera when visiting this place or you’ll regret it.
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The tilt and the bells
The tower was built as a bell tower as objective. But unfortunately, it turned out making the tower to be in problem.
Aside from the soil quality which affected the tilt (the terrain is mainly made of clay), the weight of the bells makes it difficult to object to the overweighed tower. The result was the progressing tilt, which was at peak during the 1990s.
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The tilt ‘development’ and the effort to fix it
What did you think caused the tilted tower to exist? At first, the constructors didn’t mean to do so. So, what caused the leaning tower of Pisa to be slightly tilted—3.97 degrees, to be exact?
The leaning problem started to begin when the constructors built the second floor. At that time, the building was slightly tilted at 0.2 degrees according to some sources. As the additional bell-chamber as the project’s last touch, the tilt rose to 1.6 degrees.
Back in the 1990s, the lean is as great as 5.5 degrees. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? This is exactly why the Italian government took the decision to close the tower from public for quite a long time as it reopened for public visitors in 2001.
During the time, a major fix to straighten the tower of Pisa took place. The trick is to siphon the Earth and then the foundations were strengthened. To do so, the in-charge team injected cement grout and installed various kinds of reinforcement as well. The result? It is a tower of Pisa Italy you see today.
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