21 leaning tower of Pisa facts for kids
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most visited places in the world. And why wouldn’t it be? It has a rich history and a unique story behind how it became from the Tower of Pisa to the leaning tower of Pisa. So here we have brought to you some of the most known leaning tower of Pisa facts for kids.
Let’s jump right into the world of this Italian structure.
1. It took 2 centuries to build the tower of Pisa.
The construction of the bell tower beside the cathedral started in August 1173. And by the year 1178, workers had reached the construction of the 3rd story of the structure. By this time, the building was slightly tilting to the north.
However, the production process of the tower was halted until 1272. The construction began again but a war broke out again, which halted the construction process. In the early 14th century, the construction started again and the entire process concluded with the installation of a bell chamber in 1372.
2. The tower leaned due to ill-conceived design plans by the architects and engineers.
Proper planning of the tower of Pisa could have avoided the architectural follies. The tower started leaning on the right side due to the soft ground which consisted of deposits, clay, and sand from the Tuscan rivers Serchio and Arno.
Thus, this shallow foundation made the tower unstable. Fortunately, the builders noticed this issue earlier but still they couldn’t do anything about the infamous slant.
3. At one point in time, the Tower of Pisa leans changed directions.
In 1272, the construction was resumed. But the additional changes did not fix the tower’s posture. The above stories jostled the center of the gravity of the building which caused a reversal in its tilt.
As the tower added more stories, the structure leaning in the north began to lean south.
4. The Tower of Pisa’s lean kept getting worse day by day.
As time passed by, the ground weakened below the tower’s heft. The tilt went from 0.2 degrees to 5.5 degrees by 1990.
By the next decade, the engineers added anchors and leveled the soil beneath the tower. This was an effort to rectify the landmark’s catastrophic lean.
In 2008, the foundational soil stopped the continuous slouching for the first time.
5. The Tower of Pisa could still resume tilting by the 23rd century.
Sources say that tower is predicted to remain stable for the next 200 years. All thanks to the additional efforts of the engineers.
If the leaning tower of Pisa remains constant, the soil should start moving in the early 23rd century.
6. There are more structures like the leaning Tower of Pisa.
You will be surprised if we tell you that many Pisani structures have foundational errors. And all this is because of the river city’s soft grounds.
Among such structures is a 12th-century church called San Nicola and another is an 11th-century church San Michele Degli Scalzi. While San Nicola leans only midway, San Michele Degli Scalzi has a 5-degree tilt.
7. Other towers have faced challenges to beat the famed lean of the Tower of Pisa.
No building on this planet has a better leaning posture than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, there are some structures like the Leaning Tower of Suurhusen that were out-leaned in 2009.
Guinness record keepers calculated that this building has 1.2 degrees tilt which is more than Pisa’s tilt. Researchers have also found the 14th-century church Oberkirche and Two Towers of Bologna in Germany to have 4 degrees lean and 4.8 degrees lean respectively.
8. Benito Mussolini tried to fix the tower of Pisa but ended up making it worse.
In 1934, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini announced that the tower of Pisa was one of the reputations of his nation so he collected all the resources to straighten the structure. His men drilled hundreds of holes into the foundation of the tower and pumped loads of grout to rectify the tilt.
But it did not work in their favor and the heavy cement caused the tower to sink deeper into the ground.
9. In World War II, the tower of Pisa was a military base.
The distinctive silhouette of the tower would make it look like an easy target. However, the German troops felt it was the main lookout point in World War II. This is because the tall tower offered optimal surveillance over the plain land.
10. U.S. Army decided not to blast the Tower of Pisa.
In 1944, when the American army charged to demolish all the enemy buildings, they were stunned by the iconic tower’s aesthetic charms.
And when it was the time to bring down the structure, they were unable to call for the volley of fire. In the end, they left the beautiful tower of Pisa intact.
11. A rock dome in Antarctica is named after the Tower of Pisa.
Although it is discovered in Antarctica, by the French Antarctic Expedition, the seventh continent’s Geologie Archipelago, a rock dome is named after this prized tower.
The 27-meter-long formation was first recorded in 1951. It resembles the dome a lot and that is why it is called Tour de Pise.
12. Tower of Pisa’s name is derived from a Greek word.
The Tower of Pisa was named after a Greek word that means marshy land.
13. Galileo was baptized in the baptistery of the Tower of Pisa.
In 1565, the astronomer, Galileo Galilei was baptized in the baptistery of the tower of Pisa. As of now, both the cathedral and baptistery are sinking continuously.
14. The leaning Tower of Pisa stands very tall.
The original height of this Italian structure was 60 meters. But after shrinking continuously, its height has shrunk to 55,86m on the lowest side as well as 56.67m on the highest side. Moreover, the base of the outside diameter of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 15.484 meters.
15. There are more than 200 steps in the leaning Tower of Pisa.
According to the sources, there are 25 steps from the bottom to the top.
16. The leaning Tower of Pisa has a beautiful architectural style.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has a Romanesque style as well as medieval-age architecture.
The buildings are influenced by the Italian monumental art between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.
17. Seven huge bells on the top of the Leaning Tower in Pisa.
There are around 7 huge bells located on the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa which create different musical notes.
18. The design of Tower of Pisa was designed by renowned engineers and architects.
The reason behind this beautiful structure in Italy is the architects and engineers like Giovanni di Simone, Giovanni Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, as well as Bonanno Pisano.
19. The Tower of Pisa is located beside another popular tourist location.
The Tower of Pisa is located next to the Cathedral of Pisa in the Square of miracles aka Piazza Dei Miracoli in the city of Pisa, Italy.
20. The Leaning Tower in Pisa is a Word Heritage Site
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was taken by UNESCO in 1987 after it was announced as a World Heritage Site.
21. The leaning Tower of Pisa took a lot of construction time.
The building of the Tower of Pisa started in 1173 and finished in the 14th century, in 1399.
It took more than 2 decades to build because it was halted many times due to some ongoing crisis in Italy.