Why the leaning tower of Pisa is tilted: overview, history and interesting facts

The mere mention of the name of the "falling tower" vividly draws in the imagination the silhouette of this architectural incident. Cartoons and other comic comparisons have turned the ancient bell tower in provincial Pisa into a symbol of everything unstable and unstable in our mortal existence. Italians themselves do not find anything funny in this situation. On the contrary, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was attractive to countless tourists, who were eager to see for themselves the “protracted miracle”. That is what the inhabitants of Pisa call the rejected "behavior" of the tower for eight centuries. Why is the leaning tower leaning? This is what we will try to find out in the article.

why leaning tower of pisa

Why is the tower tilted?

Why the leaning tower of leaning? So it was originally intended? Or is another reason? Pisa Campanella in the project was listed as a strictly vertical building.Most likely, an error crept into the drawings, since already after the construction of the first tier with a colonnade, the tower tilted to four centimeters. But this was enough for the construction to be “frozen” for a century. Continued construction increased the roll by half a meter due to subsidence of the soil under the foundation. It was decided to finish the tower ahead of time, reducing the design height to four tiers.

Height and features of the building

Now it becomes a little clear why the leaning tower of Pisa is tilted. The height of the building in its final form reached 58 meters 36 centimeters. The diameter at the base is 15 meters 54 centimeters. The walls are made of stone about five meters thick at the foundation. On the upper tier, the width of the wall is two and a half meters. The deviation of the building at the top has reached today 5 meters 30 centimeters. The tower is lined with white and light gray marble. The entrance is decorated with bas-reliefs depicting mythological creatures. Bottom construction back arch with 15 columns. The six remaining tiers are bordered by Romano-Pisan arcades. The campanella is crowned with a belfry with seven bells. Their weight ranges from 300 kilograms to 3.5 tons.Each bell has its own name and corresponds to a certain note of sound scale.

why leaning leaning tower height

Why is the leaning tower leaning and not falling?

Upon completion of the construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, citizens faced a serious question about how to prevent further deviation of the building. Only thanks to the scientists it was noticed that under the southern base the soil is somewhat looser than under the opposite one. With the help of cables that hedged the tower from further roll, soft ground was removed with caution. The building sagged in the opposite direction, and the roll was reduced by half a meter. Until now, the deviation does not occur.

Where is the tower?

Why does the leaning tower of Pisa fall? Where is she? It seems the answer is simple. But not everyone knows that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not a separately erected building, it is part of an architectural complex. In addition to the campanella itself (from the Italian word campanella, meaning "bell"), which actually is the bell tower that declined from other structures, the ensemble includes the Pisa Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Campo-Santo necropolis and the Miracles Square, where all this is located.

leaning tower of pisa history

Leaning Tower of Pisa: the history of construction

Bonnie Pisano and Guglielmo Innsbruck were building the belltowers. The foundation was laid in 1173, the foundation of a three-meter depth. He was given to survive for a year. And when the first three tiers were erected, it became obvious that the tower was being built with a slope. Construction stopped. In 1198 they tried to strengthen the ground, but to no avail. After 35 years on the construction site work has again begun to boil. This time, master Benenato, the son of Gerardo Botici, took over the “patronage” of the building. When it erected a tower to half. Breakthrough in the "long-term construction" made Giovanni di Simone. It was he who in 1272 gave a second wind to the construction marathon. During these years, master Reinaldo Speschale managed to adjust the material for the tower of the stone quarries near Pisa. It was decided to eliminate the roll by raising the masonry level from the opposite side. But hope was in vain: the slope only increased to half a meter.

By 1275, the tower had grown to the level of the sixth tier. Following the architectural failure of the Republic of Pisa suffered a number of military, and the construction was empty. Only after 44 years on the sixth tier did they hoist the first bell.The construction was completed, ironically, by Tomasso, son of Andrea Pisano. In 1350 they began to build a belfry, and in 1372 marked a disappointing, but nevertheless, epilogue of a two hundred year old architectural epic in Pisa. The tower acquired a finished look, but the slope of almost one and a half meters markedly overshadowed the triumph of the opening of the Leaning Campanella. The tower reached two tiers below ten laid down in the project, which assumed its height of 98 meters and the roof over the belfry.

history of leaning tower description

Legend of Pisa

On the history of the tower in Pisa there is one entertaining legend. The rumor says that the masters of Pisano were persuaded to create a project and build a campanella at the cathedral. Pisano, with skill, built the building according to all architectural canons, ideally maintaining proportions, including a strict vertical. But the local clergy did not accept the order without paying a penny to the architect. The master was angry and set out to go away, but finally he turned around, waved his hand invitingly and ordered the tower: “Follow me!”. And in front of the amazed crowd, the bell tower suddenly tilted, trying to take a step after the master. Maybe, really, that's why the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tilted and falls!


All seven bells of the Leaning Campanella are preserved and functioning, announcing the neighborhood of Wonderland in their melodious voices. As conceived by the priests of the nearby cathedral, each bell must perform a certain note of the scale and bear a sonorous name. The firstborn was Paskvereccha bell, cast immediately after the completion of the construction of the tower. It sounds in the key of “G flat”. His loneliness in 1473 brightened the bell of Tertz, adding to the duet a shade of "C sharp". Small Vespruccio melted in 1501 with a note of "mi". A full-fledged quartet met in 1606 with the installation of Dal Pozzo. His voice with a note of “salt” broke off during the bombing during World War II, but thanks to the concerns of the restorers the bell sounded again in the general choir. In 2004, it was replaced with a perfectly similar copy. The Crocifisso bell, which, after the last melting down in 1818, confidently holds “until sharp”, was repeatedly subjected to alteration. It stands out among the rest of Assunta (which in translation means “ascension”), tuned to the note “si”. Its weight is three and a half tons, the bell is made by Giovanni Pietro Orlandi. Completed the complete set of the bell ensemble of the missing “Re-sharp” - San Ranieri, which has been melted down many times, but has retained the last appearance since 1735.As the Pisa Cathedral continues to hold daily mass, at noon, the neighborhood of the famous Campanella bell announces this.

the leaning tower of pisa why is tilted and falls

Pisa in the fire of war

During the occupation, the Leaning Tower of Pisa (the story described in the article) was located on the territory of an army base. German soldiers were not afraid of the danger of the roll of the bell tower and used the belfry as an observation tower. The location was chosen perfect: from the height of the tower, the area around was viewed for several kilometers. That allowed to detect any movement of the enemy.

The Americans, who liberated Pisa, decided not to cause damage to the historical monument. Struck by the architectural forms and the unusual view of the tower, the allied forces stopped the shelling. In addition, they were frightened by the danger of collapsing the building, which could lead to losses among the besiegers. The command of the American infantrymen used a tactical maneuver, and the fascists were forced to fight in an open space, where they were lured by cunning from the tower.

why the tower of pisa is tilted and does not fall

Interesting Facts

Pisa is not only famous for the “falling tower”. Here was born the future luminary of science - Galileo Galilei.Historical tales associate his name with the experiments that he conducted using the “tower tendency”. Galileo threw various objects on the ground and recorded the results of the fall for his future discoveries.

The dictator Mussolini once tried to correct the legendary flaw in the national treasure, but made a fatal mistake. He made a public statement that the deviation from the norms of the Leaning sights cast a shadow on the reputation of the Italians, and ordered to send the tower "on the right path." By his order, hundreds of holes were drilled under the base and filled with cement mortar. When the concrete froze, the bell tower sank considerably and aggravated the roll.

It is noteworthy that the land under the cemetery of Campo Santo, which is located near the bell tower, was specially brought from Palestine. Pisa knights brought her home as a trophy in one of the Crusades.

The Pisa Campanella is not inferior in height to an eight-story building. The total weight of the stones and the decoration of the "falling tower" is 14,453 tons. To get to the belfry, you must climb the 294 marble steps.

One of the ice peaks in Antarctica was named in honor of the "falling tower".French climbers led the climb to it, but the sheer cliff reminded climbers of the famous bell tower that there simply were no other options.

leaning tower of pisa why falls where is

Turret case

It is a striking fact, but there are three copies of such “twisted” structures in Pisan urban planning. In addition to the campanelles in the Square of Miracles, the second bell tower was lost in the pine park of Piaggia. She suffered the same fate, but in the territory of the church of St. Michael. The third "leaning tower" with bells hid in the alleys of the ancient part of the city near the church of St. Nicholas. Its slope is not so noticeable in the cramped shelter of a number of buildings. It is noteworthy that all three belltowers were erected with a slope in the process of construction or when laying the foundation. Most likely, this was due to the clay soil in Pisa and the proximity of groundwater.

Around the world one can count about three hundred "falling towers". This name fits to the clock tower in the city of Izmir (Turkey), to Big Ben (Great Britain), to the tower in Bologna, to the Nevyansk tower (Russia). Nevertheless, it was the Leaning Bell Tower in Wonderland Square that gained wide worldwide fame and tourist attraction.

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