Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of PisaThe leaning tower of Pisa, which is actually the bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa, is another landmark situated in Italy. If you don't want to see all of Europe at once, you can easily set aside a long weekend and book a flight to Rome, where you can see the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain as well as St Peter's cathedral. You can then take a train to Pisa, which takes around 3 hours and is a nice journey along the coast of Italy. If you can manage, you may want to book a return flight straight from Pisa to avoid having to take the train back to Rome.

However you decide to travel through Italy, the leaning tower of Pisa is definitely worth seeing because despite the fact that it is such a beautifully designed and impressive monument, its architectural precision is less than impressive and actually quite amusing. In fact, the top of the tower is about twelve feet from where it should actually be had the tower been built vertically. The tower of Pisa was constructed over a period of 177 years in several stages as it was halted during several wars. The final element, the bell chamber, was built in 1372, but bells were added to it until 1655.

It now has 7 bells, one for each chord of the musical major scale. Its foundation alone was built in a very unstable way, making it impossible for the tower to stand straight when it was completed. The identity of the architect is still unsure and there are several possibilities; the controversy is mainly about whether the architect was Bonanno Pisano or Diotisalvi. The tower was almost destroyed in World War Two but saved by a decision of a US Army sergeant. The tilt of the tower continued to increase over time and during the 20th century, measures needed to be taken to prevent it from toppling over. The bells ended up being removed to relieve some weight and the tower was secured using cables.

Soil was removed underneath the raised end to stabilize the tower further, and though the tower has now stopped moving and is likely to stay stable for another two centuries, great care was taken to keep the angle at which it is built because that is what makes the tower such an attractive destination for tourists and travelers. Even so, the monument is not the furthest leaning tower in the world – that title belongs to the Capital Gate building in Abu Dhabi. However, the leaning tower of Pisa is arguably the most famous leaning tower in the world.