The iconic lean of the tower began when its base was erected in the The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed for renovations this week in 1990. The issue was that it was tilting too far forward. Today, the tower is back where it belongs: straight, since who visits the Vertical Tower of Pisa?
The story goes that during a severe storm in 1133, the top part of the bell tower collapsed. Since then, the rest of the structure has been leaning ever so slightly toward the west.
People have used this fact to ridicule the church for being out of touch with reality. In 1772, the top of the tower was rebuilt following an arson attack. But instead of restoring the tower to its original form, the people responsible for the repair work added another floor above the original one, thus causing the whole thing to lean even more.
The fire again damaged the tower in 1844 but this time there were no repairs done and the tower was just left as it was after the first fire. However, it still wasn't enough to stop the structure from leaning more and more until 1980 when the current situation was discovered.
At this point, the only way to save the tower was to cut off some of its floors and add them to the other side. This fixed the tilt but created a new problem: the tower now leans too far back instead.
The Pisa Leaning Tower collapsed on the 11th February 2015. The top three floors of the tower are missing and it has been estimated that only about half its original height remains.
In addition to this, the main entrance gate to the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) at Piazza del Duomo in Milan has also recently collapsed.
These buildings have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. They are among the most prominent monuments in their respective cities.
The Pisa Leaning Tower has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. It was built between 1172 and 1248 and stands 83 meters high. The wooden structure was designed with lean-to's or pavilions that would have housed visitors. These were included to allow more people to visit the site at one time. In fact, it is believed that thousands of people visited the tower every day during its peak period of popularity.
The leaning tower has been considered a major architectural success because not only did it survive the devastating earthquake of 1770 but it even appeared to improve its appearance.
At around a 10 degree angle The Tower of Pisa is 60 meters tall and leans at a 10 degree inclination till 1990. Despite being meant to be exactly vertical, it began to tilt during construction. The cause was found to be empty space below the level of the foundation, which allowed the building to move slightly towards the west.
From 1999 to 2001, restoration efforts stabilized the tower. Engineers installed weights on the north end of the building while simultaneously removing earth from below, causing it to progressively sink back in that direction. The Leaning Tower of Pisa still leans south, although at just 3.99 degrees. Its long-term stability has been restored.
The story behind this amazing feat is as interesting as the tower itself. In 1163, a lunar eclipse caused the ground under the tower to shake, which in turn caused the tower to lean. The damage was so severe that architects today would consider the tower to be unsafe for occupancy. However, over the next few centuries, people began to build houses near the tower and move out of town if they were unhappy with their local government. As a result, the weight of these buildings was enough to right the tower back into shape.
If you visit Pisa, make sure to go inside the cathedral and check out the beautiful sculpture called "The Tree of Life."
The original tree that inspired the sculpture is located outside the cathedral. It's a beautiful example of a linden tree, one of the only trees capable of withstanding the intense heat of the Tuscan sun.
Check out our article on five more famous leaning towers here.