Leaning Tower of Pisa: 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know
I suppose in the world of iconic travel photographs, photographing the leaning Tower of Pisa just might be on the bucket list of every travel photographer.
Regardless of how recognizable this famous landmark might be, upon our visit, we learned that we knew very little about this tower and why it leans.
10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Leaning Tower of Pisa:
- The Tower of Pisa is one of Europe’s most famous structures because….well…it leans.
- Construction on the Tower of Pisa began in 1173. Thanks to the very soft ground, the tower started leaning by the time they got to the third story.
- The Tower of Pisa is more accurately a bell tower, or campanile. It is one of four buildings that make up a cathedral complex in Pisa, Italy called Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).
- In 1987, the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes the tower, cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery.
- The tower measures 183 ft on the low side and 186 ft on the high side.
- The tower wasn’t completed until the mid-1300s, and the real identity of the Tower of Pisa’s architects remains a mystery. Most credit the first phase of construction to Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo din Gherardo. The second phase of construction is attributed to Giovani de Simone in 1275, with Tommaso Pisano finishing the project about a century later.
- Galileo was baptized in the baptistery in 1565.
- The foundation of the cemetery, Campo Santo, is made up of 53 shiploads of earth that were brought back from the Hill of Calvary in Jerusalem.
- In 1990, after decades of study, the tower was closed to the public and a project commenced to permanently stabilize the tower. In 2001, the tower was again opened to the public and declared stable for at least another 300 years.
- The Tower of Pisa has seven massive bells, tuned to the musical scale, with weights ranging from 7,981 lb to 1,437 lb.
Have you been to the leaning Tower of Pisa? What do you remember most? If not, is the leaning Tower of Pisa on your bucket list?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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