Augustus Pugin designed the tower in the neo-Gothic style. When it was finished in 1859, its clock was the world's biggest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock. The tower is 315 feet (96 meters) tall, with 334 steps leading from ground level to the belfry. It has a square foundation that measures 39 feet (12 meters) on each side. The walls are 13 feet (4 meters) thick at the base and 8 feet (2.5 meters) thick at the top.
The clock itself is 60 feet (18 meters) high. Each face of the clock shows the time in one of the twelve cities where clocks were first installed: London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Venice, Trieste, Hamburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, and New York. A small door in the center of each face opens to allow the hands to be changed. The clock strikes the hour on each quarter past seven, once for each city; and also on each minute past eleven, once for all cities.
Pugin based the design of the Eiffel Tower clock on an earlier clock he had designed for the Great Exhibition in London. Like the Eiffel Tower, Pugin's clock used iron instead of wood for its structure. The clock's mechanism was made by Humbert Iselin, a famous French watchmaker who also built the timekeeper for France's L'Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in 1889.
The clocktower's belfry is placed above the dials at a height of around 200 feet above the ground. The huge Gothic arches visible on the outside signify it. The belfry has five bells, the most renowned of which is Big Ben, the big hour bell, which weighs 13.5 tons. Denison designed the bells in 1852. They were cast by J. W. Dowell of Loughborough, England.
In addition to being the largest single-span wooden structure in the world, the tower also holds the record for the highest-pressure steam pipe system in use today. The upper portion of the tower is filled with compressed air that is used to lift the heavy bells. This system reduces the need for human help in moving the bells in order to tell time. The clock itself is powered by electricity from the National Grid and contains more than 7,000 parts. It can be heard throughout London and beyond when it chimes the hours, minutes, and quarters.
You can see Big Ben and other sights near Buckingham Palace using the Royal Ascot Tour. The one-hour tour takes you through various royal estates and other famous landmarks, including St. James's Park, Green Park, and Hyde Park. You'll also get a close-up view of some of the major racing events held at Royal Ascot each year. The tour costs £25 ($40) per person and includes a guide who will share interesting facts about the history of these locations.
The tower is one-of-a-kind in terms of engineering design and construction. The 86-foot-tall tapering octagonal tower has a diameter of 32 feet at the base and 15 feet at the observation deck. It was built by the Carlinville Bridge Company for $10,000.
The telescope was made by Hollerith & Co. and is 12 feet in diameter. It was shipped to Oregon in boxes and installed on top of the bridge. This unique structure was used until 1914 when a new electric power system was installed and the optical equipment was given to the Lick Observatory near San Francisco.
The Portland Observatory is now a museum that houses many rare instruments including a large refracting telescope, a meridian circle, sextant, and other navigation tools. Visitors can see how long rods were used as measuring devices before the modern yardstick came about.
In addition, there are exhibits that show how solar eclipses have been observed for centuries. Today, these events are recorded by observers using computers instead. But even though technology has come a long way since the Portland Observatory was built, it's still an interesting look into the past.
The Tower's Architecture The Tower of Pisa stands approximately 183.2 feet tall on the lower side and 185.9 feet tall on the upper side. The building's base is 8 feet broad and weighs roughly 14,500 metric tons. It has between 294 and 296 steps, with less stairs on the 7th floor. There are also several non-stairs areas such as landings that resemble steps.
The Tower of Pisa was originally built around 1256 by Giotto di Bondone for the church of San Martino in Florence. The original height of this tower was only 30 meters (or 98 feet), but over the years people have added their own touches to it, including replacing some of the windows and connecting it to other buildings.
Location The Tower of Pisa is located in Tuscany, Italy. It can be found near the center of Pisa right beside the old city gate. Although it looks like a single tower from outside the walls, inside there are three separate levels with different heights: the first level is about 30 meters high; the second level is about 80 meters high; and the third level is almost 100 meters high.
Hours The Tower of Pisa is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except during periods of rain or wind. It is not recommended to go up the Tower of Pisa during lightning storms.