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Leaning Tower of Pisa

Hotels near Leaning Tower of Pisa, Lucca, Italy .

Famous for its southwestern angle of four degrees, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most
recognizable structure in the city of Pisa. The tower sits behind the cathedral for which it
is the bell tower on Cathedral Square and is surrounded by the rolling hills of the Tuscan
countryside less than 10 kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. Pisa's famous tower
of white marble was built beginning in 1173 by several different architects and engineers
of different time periods, but over the course of its 177 year construction, the tower had
already begun to shift. This was due to a poorly laid foundation only three meters deep
that was set in loose soil. But construction continued despite the tower's downward
inclination and in order to compensate for the lean that developed after only the third
floor was finished, the engineers built the upper floors with one side higher than the
other. This created a curve that shifted the tower in the opposite direction. The bell
tower was completed in 1372 with the last and heaviest of seven bells being added in
1655 and weighing 3600 kilograms.

In 1964, Italy requested help in preventing the angle of tilt from increasing- not to sit it
straight up, of course, as this would reduce the tourist income from the tower- but until
the reconstruction effort between 1990 and 2001, little was done to definitively help the
situation. The restoration completed by world-renowned experts reduced the lean of the
famous tower by 45 centimeters and reduced its incline from 5.5 to 4 degrees. In 2008,
more work was done to the foundation and for the first time the tower halted its
progressive lean. Since then, the leaning Tower of Pisa has been declared stable for
another 300 years. Currently work is being done to clean up the outside of the tower to
restore the white marble to its former glory. Visitors accompanied by a guide can take
the 296 steps up the tower with groups of less than 30 people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_Tower_of_Pisa


 

 

 

 

 

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