Facts – Leaning Tower of Pisa Tourist Destination in Italy
Building began in 1173 under the supervision of architect Bonanno Pisano, but his plans came a cropper almost immediately. Only three of the tower’s seven tiers had been built when he was forced to abandon construction after it started leaning.
Work resumed in 1272, with artisans and masons attempting to bolster the foundations but failing miserably. The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground on one side, which was unable to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The tower’s lean gained another 1.6 degrees. To counteract the lean, the builders made the remaining floors taller on the south side of the tower.
But the weight of the additional floors only made the foundation sink further, making the lean worse. Having done what they could, the builders finished up and officially completed the tower around 1370.
After the removal of more than 70 metric tons of soil in 2008, engineers announced that the Tower had been stabilized enough that it had stopped moving for the first time since construction began. Its lean is now only about four degrees (prior to the all the restoration attempts, the lean was 5.5 degrees), or about 13 feet past perfectly vertical.
The Leaning Tower tickets cost 18 Euro and also includes the free entrance to the Duomo. If you come here during high season, you might need to prebook your climb up to the top as there will be thousands of other visitors at the same time.
By getting a ticket to the leaning tower beforehand you won’t need to stand in line. This will of course also save you time and guarantee you to climb the tower at your preferred date and time.
The Pisa tower is one of the four buildings that make up the cathedral complex in Pisa, Italy, called Campo dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli, which means Field of Miracles. Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.” There are several other towers in Pisa that also lean: the bell tower at the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi, and the bell tower at the church of St. Nicola. The cathedral and baptistery are also sinking.
Galileo was baptized in the baptistery in 1565. The foundation of the cemetery, Campo Santo, is made up of 53 shiploads of earth that were brought back from the Hill of Calvary in Jerusalem.
The tower is open “all day” every day, but the hours change a bit throughout the year (10am-5pm Nov-Feb, except between Dec 25 and Jan 7, when it’s open from 9am-6pm; 9am-6pm Mar 1-Mar 13; 9am-7pm Mar 13-Mar 21 and all of Oct; 8:30am-8:30pm Mar 21-Jun 15 and all of Sept; and 8:30am-11pm Jun 16-Aug 31).