The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is part of the Campo dei Miracoli Piazza, one of the most famous squares in the city. In 1987, the entire square became the site for the construction of a new public park, “Campo dela Mira Coli” or “Miri Park.”

The Tower of Pisa is located next to the Cathedral of Pisa, in Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of miracles) in the city of Pisa, Italy. It was built as the church’s belltower. Construction started on August 9, 1173, and finished in 1399.  The building of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and especially its completion, represents the last element in the compliment of the ceremonial complex of monuments that enrich the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of miracles). Nearby is the Basilica of San Francesco of Assisi. The tower and the neighboring cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery are included in the Piazza del Duomo UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The architects and engineers who designed the leaning Tower of Pisa (it’s Romanesque style) included: Diotisalvi, Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Simone. In 1178, workers erected the third floor of the building, which was already slightly inclined to the north, a third of its height. War delayed further construction. When the construction continued in 1272, the architects noticed the tilt after the 3rd floor was completed, and they built the other side a bit taller to try and compensate. The tower actually curved as it grew taller. The additional weight of the floors did not stot the tilting or sinking into the soft ground. 

Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.” There are several other towers in Pisa that also lean: the bell tower at the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi, and the bell tower at the church of St. Nicola. The foundation of the local cemetery, Campo Santo, is made up of 53 shiploads of earth that were brought back from the Hill of Calvary in Jerusalem. There are 251 steps inside and the original Height is 60 meters tall. Today the high side is 185.93 feet and the low side is 183.27 meters tall.

The tower was closed for reconstruction on January 7, 1990 and reopened on December 15, 2001.
If you visit, you can buy tickets (far in advance) to climb up the tower.

PS: The cathedral and baptistery are also sinking.