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 estimated that the total cost of repairs will be about $15 million.
In September 2013, engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago released a report stating that the tower was still leaning even though the surveillance group had said it was stable. The report also said that additional damage was being done to the base of the tower every time it rains. In response, the Piazza del Duomo di Pisa Authority announced plans to build an underground chamber beneath the base of the tower to store any water that flows into it from rain or melting snow. The authority also said that it would consider replacing the base of the tower when necessary.
Pietro Torre, who led the team of engineers that produced the report, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that he was surprised by the statement made by the surveillance group because they had not conducted their own investigation into the matter. He also said that if his team had been asked to review footage of the tower before making their announcement, they would have noticed that there was no evidence of stability in the video recorded over several months last year.
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 complete medieval tower to remain standing in its original location.
In response to questions about the safety of the tower, the City Council president has stated that the tower is safe and that there is no danger to visitors. However, some experts are concerned that the weight of visitors may be enough to cause damage if many people visit the site close together or if the tower is being used as a landmark for extreme weather conditions such as heavy rains or intense winds.
The tower's history of collapse has led to concerns about its stability, but these fears have not been confirmed through official investigations. However, because of its unique position within the city center and the number of visitors each year, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has become one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions.
Engineers design structures with load-bearing capacity appropriate for their intended use. In this case, they would have had to weigh the tower down with iron bars to prevent it from leaning too far. This would have made the tower too heavy for anyone to climb (and even look up into!) and would have prevented visitors from enjoying the view.
The Pisa Leaning Tower is not only one of the most recognizable buildings in Italy, it's also slightly tilted.
The tower was built between 1173 and 1250 as an observation platform and as a ministry of defense. It has been reported that when the townspeople discovered that the tower was leaning, they abandoned it. Today, the tower stands nearly vertical; its tilt is about 4 degrees.
The tower has been used for various purposes over the years, including as a prison and as a shelter for poor people. Now it is again serving as an observation point. In addition, visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a view over Lucca and its surroundings.
Elevation: 80 feet (24 m)
(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. Before the work began in 1994, experts believed that the tower would have to be demolished or moved away from its original site to prevent it from collapsing.
The news that the tower was not about to collapse after all brought joy to the hearts of Pisans who had lived with the anxiety of losing their beloved monument for almost every day since it was built in the 13th century.
The story behind this amazing structure begins in 1177 when Pia de' Rossi ordered the first stones to be put up for the foundation of the present-day tower. She was a wealthy widow who had two sons. She wanted them to get married and have children so she could be sure of leaving her money to the church instead of having it taken by her relatives as her will stated. So she decided to build something special using her own money - she wanted it to be a gift that would please everyone who saw it. And now we know that she really did succeed because the Leaning Tower of Pisa has become one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions with over 5 million visitors each year.
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 settling of its foundations in the late twentieth century, which led it to lean 5.5 degrees (approximately 15 feet [4.5 metres]) off the perpendicular. The cause of the settlement was determined to be soft soil underlain by clay layers.
They are found in many other Italian churches including Milan, Venice, and Rome.
There are three types of leaning towers: those with horizontal axes, those with vertical axes, and those that lean partly forward and partly backward. The Pisa Leaning Tower is an example of a vertical-axis tower. It was built around 1180 as the belfry of a Benedictine monastery that stood where today's cathedral stands; over time it became a public monument. The monks put up an internal walkway so visitors could reach the top of the tower without having to climb its steep exterior walls.
The tower's original height has been estimated to be between 40 and 45 meters (130 and 140 feet). Over time the top part of the tower began to lean toward the Piazza dei Miracoli (Piazza where the cathedral can be seen) due to water leaking from the roof causing the floorboards to bend. In 1995/96 a state-funded project was launched to reinforce the base of the tower against possible future collapse.