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Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts

General Knowledge | 6-13 yrs | Animation, Video

Leaning Tower of Pisa: Facts and History

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is amongst the most famous architectural landmarks of Italy.
  • It is known as ‘La Torre Pendente’ in Italian. It is said that this tower was originally designed by an Italian architect Bonnano Pisano.
  • It weighs around 14,500 tonnes and leans at a 10 degree angle. It stands on a clay foundation.
  • Complete construction of the tower took over 800 years.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is only 55.86 meters tall and is the ‘smallest’ tower to have achieved worldwide recognition.
  • It stood straight only for five years upon completion of its initial construction and then started leaning towards one side.
  • Once the tower began to lean, the construction was halted for 100 years. Engineers hoped that the clay beneath the tower would settle and become hard enough to permit further construction.
  • The tower has 8 storeys and 294 steps.
  • It was estimated that the lean was increasing by one inch every 20 years.
  • Over the years several renowned architects put their heads together to come up with a solution to stop the tower from leaning further.
  • They finally agreed to remove ground from under the high side, instead of trying to add ground under the low side.
  • The restoration and repair work began in 1999 and finished in June 2001, straightening the tower by about 16 inches, and returning it to the position it held in 1838.
  • Today, the engineers believe that it is safe for at least another 300 years.
  • The tower contains 7 bells, representing the seven notes of the musical scales.
  • Many people believe that Galileo Galilei did his famous experiment of dropping two differently-sized cannon balls to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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