The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most recognizable symbol of the city of Pisa in Italy. The name of the creator of this structure is unknown, but there are assumptions about the involvement of the famous Italian architect of the time Bonanno Pisano in its construction.
The tower is not a separate structure, as many tourists mistakenly believe, but an integral part of the whole architectural complex of Italy. It includes the nearby Pisa Cathedral, the Baptistery (baptismal) and the Campo Santo cemetery. All these objects are located on the Square of Miracles, and are designed in the same Romanesque style.
It took about 200 years to create the landmark. Founded about 800 centuries ago (in 1173), it almost immediately began to "look" sideways, towards the south. Then its construction stopped at a height of 11 meters (1st floor), and was resumed only 100 years later. It was already 1275, and the builders were desperately trying to correct the skew of the tower. From the side of the bank, they exceeded the height of the subsequent floors by 10 centimeters. But this did not help to correct her further deviation to the side.
According to its purpose, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a bell tower, one of the few in the world, located at a considerable distance from the main cathedral, which was presented as the original idea of the authors.
Why is the "falling" tower falling?
There is a theory stating that the curvature of the building is associated with the characteristics of the Italian lands. As it turned out already at the end of the 20th century, the ground under the northern part of the tower is several times harder than in its southern part. It is interesting that during each year, scientists note the deviation of the tower from the usual indicators by 1 mm, but this is too little to start sounding the alarm.
However, there are people who believe that the specific slope of the tower was originally conceived according to the plan, which cannot be proved or refuted in any way - its drawings have simply not survived to our times.
It is noteworthy that back in 1986, the falling bell tower was honored to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tower in numbers
• height - 56 meters;
• base diameter - 15 meters;
• wall thickness - 4 meters;
• deviation from the vertical axis - from 4 to 5.5 meters;
• number of steps - 294.
The first thing that attracts attention is a huge number of luxurious covered galleries, combined with each other by arches, on which a great variety of ornaments flaunts. There is a spacious hall under the open ceiling. On its walls, tourists can admire the laid out bas-reliefs depicting sea inhabitants. There are also three twisted marble staircases, already thoroughly battered by the large number of tourists. The last large-scale object of the tower's interior is a belfry with bells, the oldest of which is more than 4, 000 years old.
Galileo Galilei and the Leaning Tower
Many people have known the name of the famous physicist Galileo Galilei since school days. Here, in full view of other pundits, he threw objects of various sizes and weights from the inclined edge of the tower, thereby proving to those around him the correctness of his assumption that the performance of thrown objects did not affect the speed of falling. It was not by chance that he decided to conduct the experiment in this particular place - the building was supposed to confirm that the angle of incidence also does not matter.
It is noteworthy that in those days a mechanical clock had not yet been invented, so the scientist used a water clock and his own pulse.
There is a legend about how the "fall" of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began. Having erected a bell tower looking straight into the sky, the architect Pisano was very pleased with his work. However, the greedy clergy did not find it necessary to pay for the work of the architect. Then, in a fit of rage, he waved his hand towards the tower and shouted: "Come with me!" Immediately in front of everyone, the building leaned forward, as if trying to take a step towards its creator.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only structure of its kind leaning forward. London Big Ben, the Turkish Tower in Izmir, Azinelli in Bologna, Nevyanskaya in Russia and other lesser-known buildings have the same “zest”. There are about 300 of them all over the world.
7 oldest bells are installed in the belfry of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Their chime is heard before the start of each Catholic service at noon.
The cost of visiting the most popular object of Pisa for 2017 is 18 euros (about 1300 rubles). Also, no more than 40 people can enter the Leaning Tower of Pisa at a time.
Few people know the fact that there are 3 full-fledged "falling" buildings in Pisa. The first is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the second is built in a pine park near the city and is the campanilla of the church of St. Michael. The third is part of the church of St. Nicholas, located on one of the oldest streets in Pisa.