Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning tower of pisa

Image Credit: Flickr User tiseb, via CC

Is the photograph tilted ? No! It seems to be fine then there must be something wrong with the building in the photograph. Oh yes! It is the building that is tilted. It is called the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was originally named the Tower of Pisa and is located in the town of Pisa, Italy.  “Leaning ” was added to its name because it actually leans. The tower leans because it has a weak foundation. You can guess now that why they say the building is as strong as its foundation.

The   foundation  of the tower was built on soft soil. The construction took a long time more than 200 years (1173 to 1399).  In fact, interestingly this delay is the reason that the tower has not toppled over yet. The delay in construction caused the soil to compress under the tower and thus not allowing it to fall. But the tower is still falling at the rate of 1 or 2 millimetres per year.   The town of Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land”. The town is known to have very soft soil, and  there are many more towers in Pisa which are leaning and sinking because of a weak foundation.

Top of the Leaning tower of pisa

Image Credit: Flickr User HarshLight, via CC

The Leaning  Tower of Pisa was  built by the city of Pisa  to celebrate their victory  in a war. It is actually a Bell tower and is part of a cathedral complex in the Piazza Dei Miracolo. (Square of Miracles). The tower has 297 steps from the bottom to the top.  Wouldn’t it be fascinating to climb on a slant? The tower is around 187 feet tall. It is circular. It has eight floors, and on the outside of each floor you can see columns and arches.  It is said that the famous scientist Galileo had conducted some experiments from this tower.  This tower was at one point also used as an observatory point in the world war II but miraculously escaped being bombed down.

Over the years, many people have tried to stop the tower from falling.  Some people have tried drilling holes and filled it with mortar, but that did not work, the tower leaned down further. Then in 1990 the tower was actually declared unsafe, and no visitors were allowed.  Many ideas were put in action like putting around 800 tons of lead blocks on the raised level of the base to tilt the tower. They also used liquid nitrogen to harden the soft base. But nothing seemed to work until someone came up with the idea of gradually removing soil from the raised level of the base and tilt the tower a little. Now the tower looks the same as it did in 1838. The tower was declared safe for another 200 years and has been now open to public from the year 2001.

Neena Subramaniyam

Neena is a guest author at Kinooze. Neena Subramaniam is a graduate from Mumbai University. She loves Finance and has worked in the Finance industry for more than a decade. She is currently a homemaker and mother of two kids. Neena likes to travel, read fiction, see new places and handle investments.

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