The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy's greatest landmarks and one of the world's seven wonders. The tower is renowned for its unique tilt, seeming to defy gravity since it was built in 1173. Let's take a look at some fun facts about this iconic Italian monument.
1. The Height Is 185 Feet
How tall is the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Today, the Leaning Tower stands 55 meters (185 feet) tall with seven stories comprised of around 294 steps – its original height was estimated to be around 60 meters (196 feet) and an outside diameter of 15.484 meters.
There is also a circular counter-balancing weight on top of the third story to ensure stability against strong winds that could threaten its structuration; nonetheless, experts agree that if any seismic activities occur during high wind conditions, this can create enough force on the structure for it to fall down completely in just seconds.
2. It Is Not The Most Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower of Gau-Weinheim holds the world record for the most unintentionally leaning tower in the world with an inclination of 5.427 compared to the angle of the leaning tower of Pisa at 1.22 degrees. It is a medieval fortified tower located in the center of Gau Weinheim constructed around 1450.
3. It has 7 bells, The Heaviest at 8000 pounds
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has seven bells, each representing a note of the musical major scale. The largest bell weighs nearly 8,000 pounds. The bell chamber was added in 1372 and was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who harmonized the Gothic elements of the belfry with the Romanesque style of the tower.
- 1st bell - L'Assunta: Made in 1654 by Giovanni Pietro Orlandi; weight 3,620 kg
- 2nd bell - Il Crocifisso: Made in 1572 by Vincenzo Possenti; weight 2,462 kg
- 3rd bell - San Ranieri: Made in 1719–1721 by Giovanni Andrea Moreni; weight 1,448 kg
- 4th bell - La Terza: 1st small one, made in 1473, weight 300 kg
- 5th bell - La Pasquereccia or La Giustizia: Made in 1262 by Lotteringo; weight 1,014 kg
- 6th bell - Il Vespruccio: 2nd small one, made in 1501 by Nicola di Jacopo; weight 1,000 kg
- 7th bell - Dal Pozzo: Made again in 2004; weight 652 kg
4. The Heavy Bells Were Silenced To Prevent Leaning
By the early 20th century, however, the heavier bells were silenced, as it was believed that their movement could potentially worsen the tower’s lean.
5. You Can Climb The Tower Of Pisa
Climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a unique experience that offers a beautiful view of the town. The base ticket price is 20€ per person, and it is 294 steps to the top of the tower.
6. The Structure Took Around 200 Years To Build
Construction of the Tower commenced in 1173 as part of a larger project which included building a cathedral and baptistery nearby; however, due to war and financial hardship within Italy, the project wasn't fully completed until 1370 when the last few bells were hung inside the Tower.
7. It Has Been Tilting Since Construction Began
Due to an inadequate foundation, the Tower began tilting during construction in 1173 and has been leaning ever since. For hundreds of years, engineers have been battling to keep it from tipping over completely.
8. Its Foundation Runs 16 Meters Deep
The foundation beneath the Tower runs 16 meters deep and stretches for more than 15 square meters – only 26% percent of its base has contact with the solid ground! Due to this phenomenon - known as the 'tilting effect'- ongoing efforts are made to stabilize its position while ensuring its preservation as an iconic cultural heritage site in Pisa’s beautiful cityscape.
9. It is Made Mainly of White Marble
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is mainly made of white marble, with its foundation constructed of limestone and lime mortar
Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. Bologna is world-famous for its warm and welcoming atmosphere and its immense cultural, historical, and artistic heritage which you can learn more on the facts about Bologna.
Are you looking for an unforgettable holiday destination? Among its many beautiful destinations, none can quite compare to the picturesque landscape of Tuscany. Filled with rolling hills, and vineyards dotted with agriturismo (Italian for “rural tourism”), it’s the perfect place to rest and detox away from the big city hustle and bustle. Read on to see the best agriturismo in Tuscany – some of the most charming countryside getaways in all of Italy!