The Leaning Tower of Leaning has impressive dimensions. Its height is more than 55 m, and the diameter of the base exceeds 15 m. Nearly three hundred steps lead to the upper tiers. The exterior walls have different thicknesses; towards the top of the structure it is reduced. Experts believe that the total weight of the structure exceeds 14 thousand tons. But most importantly, the tower in Pisa has an unintended tilt of more than three degrees.
In fact, the world-famous structure is not a tower in the literal sense of the word. It is a bell tower, part of the ensemble of the Catholic Cathedral.
Construction of the building began in the 12th century and dragged on for nearly two hundred years. Architects lean towards the view that the bell tower design was flawed initially. The fact is that the tower’s low three-metre foundation does not match well with soft ground. Therefore, after the construction of three floors the structure got a noticeable slope, although the project was strictly vertical. There are indications that the Leaning Tower of Leaning was also facilitated by the regular blurring of clay soil under the structure, which was already in the course of construction.
Will the famous tower fall?
As the tilt of the Leaning Tower of Leaning had slowly and steadily increased over hundreds of years, it was decided to reliably fix it. Technical work continued from 1990 to 2001. Restoration work was carried out in accordance with precautions and with the use of the most modern engineering methods. The tower was securely fixed on cables, and cement was pumped under its base. This allowed to significantly reduce the pressure of the heavy structure on the brisk, and therefore not too reliable ground.
As a result, the inclination of the architectural structure was reduced by forty centimeters. Engineers carefully surveyed the improved design and made sure it was secured securely and the inclination did not increase.
Restorers claim the tower will not be able to fall in the next two or three centuries. Calculations based on elementary physics show that this can only happen if the tower’s center of gravity ends up outside its foundation area. But to date, there is no reason to argue that the center of gravity of the massive structure can shift.
Timely intervention of restorers allowed stabilization of the structure. And now the renovated bell tower of Pisa continues to delight tourists, many of whom are gladly photographed against the backdrop of an amazing and one-of-a-kind architectural structure.