The Leaning Tower of Pisa is famous across the globe for its perilous tilt, but now specialists have shown that it is straightening out. The Surveillance Group, which oversees repair efforts at the tower, stated that the monument is "stable and very slowly lessening its lean." They also said that they expect the tower to be perfectly level with its base on the ground once again.
The first indication that something was wrong with the tower was recorded in 1137 when a fire damaged some of the flooring below the level where the tilt was most severe. At that time, the tower was already showing signs of instability, but it was not until 1872 that it became known that the tower was actually leaning. Since then, experts have been working to prevent it from collapsing entirely by repairing any damage and reinforcing it with steel cables.
The leaning of the tower has been caused by water leaking into the basement from adjacent buildings. This water has accumulated over the years and has become increasingly heavier as it evaporates. The weight of this water has been found to be more than what can be supported by the foundation, so part of it has been pushing the tower over.
People have been afraid to go up inside the tower for many years because they knew that it was going to fall over if the wind got too strong. In November 2011, however, researchers made an advance observation platform open to the public for the first time.
The tower was stabilized as a result of restoration work completed between 1999 and 2001. Engineers placed weights on the structure's north end while removing earth from below, forcing it to sink back in that direction gradually. The Leaning Tower of Pisa still leans south, although at just 3.99 degrees. It is the only medieval skyscraper in Europe.
In response to questions about the safety of the tower, the city government has published several reports on the subject. In 1990, it concluded that the tower was safe for visitors to enjoy. A more recent report issued in 2004 stated that the tower was very stable but that further research was needed into its long-term stability before making any judgment about whether it would collapse in the future.
The story of the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been told many times over the years by both foreigners and Italians. Each time it is told, it adds new details to an already fascinating tale. If you want to learn more, we recommend one of these books: The Leaning Tower of Pisa: How a Great Building Fell Down and how It Was Fixed (DVD available) or The Leaning Tower: A History
People have been fascinated with the story of the Leaning Tower of Pisa for hundreds of years.
The Pisa Leaning Tower is not only one of the most iconic landmarks in Piazza dei Miracoli but it is also slightly tilted.
The tower was originally built as part of the cathedral but when the cathedral was converted into a museum it was decided to move it outside the building for safety reasons. This means that you can walk up to the base of the tower and look up through a glass floor panel into the nave where there is now no ceiling!
The tower has been called "the leaning tower of Pisa" since it was built without a foundation. This means that there are no feet under it to hold it up straight. The weight of the tower is mainly on its narrow base which causes it to lean in towards the nave.
You can see the tilt of the tower in many of the photos taken from inside the cathedral. It's easy to miss but if you look carefully you can see a line on the wall indicating where the floor would be if the tower were standing upright.
The tower was restored between 1994 and 2002.
(Source: CBS News) Although it is not evident to the naked eye, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not leaning as much these days. In fact, it's roughly an inch straighter than it's been for generations. The transformation took 12 years and was the outcome of a massive renovation operation.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually a bell tower that has a slight tilt. The exact cause of this tilt is unknown but may have been due to poor construction practices at the time of its founding in 1160. Whatever the reason, the tower does lean about 1/4 of a degree from top to bottom and about the same from side to side. It can be seen from many miles away, so it's not just tourists who notice when something is wrong!
In order to correct the problem, engineers have been working on the structure for more than 10 years. They've strengthened the base by adding additional layers of compact gravel and soil, which makes up 90 percent of the tower's mass. At the same time, they've been carefully removing large pieces of masonry from the outside of the tower. The work has been done with great care and only during daytime hours so as not to affect the visitor experience.
As you can see, old buildings need to be preserved while new technologies are used to maintain their appearance without altering their original shape or structure.
The Pisa Leaning Tower The Leaning Tower of Pisa, also known as the Torre Pendente di Pisa, is a medieval building in Pisa, Italy, noted for the settlement of its foundations, which led it to lean 5.5 degrees (approximately 15 feet [4.5 metres]) off the vertical in the late twentieth century. It was designed by Miquelet for his own benefit, but he died before it could be completed. The job then fell to his partner, Bonnano Pisano, who probably did not have enough experience to design such a large structure on his own. Although the tower is named after Miquelet, it was actually built by Bonnano Pisano.
They must have been very confident people to build such a tall structure without any form of protection from falling over. There are several theories about why the tower leans so much; some say that it is because there is no foundation underneath, while others claim that it is due to changes in temperature causing the sand inside the tower to expand or contract, thus putting pressure on the walls which lead to them leaning outwards.
It was constructed between 1173 and 1248 using local red-brick with elements of marble and limestone. The original height of the tower was approximately 60 meters (197 ft), but now only 40 meters (131 ft) remains. In 1322, an earthquake caused parts of the structure to collapse, including the elevator which previously operated up the side of the tower.