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 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.
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.
Other Leaning towers
- Official website
- Companion site to "Fall of the Leaning Tower" broadcasted by PBS
- Pisa goes critical