Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia

Leaning Tower of Pisa

(Redirected from Leaning tower of Pisa)
Leaning tower of Pisa
Leaning tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or bell tower, for Pisa's cathedral, the Duomo di Pisa. It was built to stand vertically but began leaning soon after construction started in August 1173.

The height of the tower is 55 meters from the ground. Its weight is estimated at 14,453 tons. The current inclination is about ten percent. The tower has 296 steps.


The construction of the building began on August 9, 1173 and lasted two centuries. After the third floor was built in 1178, the tower began leaning and construction was stopped for a century. In 1272, another four floors were built at an angle to compensate for the tilt. Construction was again stopped in 1301, and only in 1372 was the last floor built and the bell installed.

It is believed that Galileo Galilei dropped two cannon balls of different masses from this tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass.

Benito Mussolini ordered the tower to be returned to a vertical position, so cement was poured into its foundations. The results were not as expected and the tower sank into the soft soil. During World War II, almost all towers in Pisa were destroyed by the American army, since they could be used by snipers. The Leaning Tower was scheduled to be blown up as well, but a last-minute order to retreat prevented this from happening. The government of Italy asked for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over on February 27, 1964.

On January 7, 1990 the Tower was closed to the public due to safety concerns. Recently, reconstruction work was done to try to reduce the tower's angle. The tower was reopened to the public on June 16, 2001 after the completion of ten years of work.

See also

Other Leaning towers

External Links

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45