Trying to straighten up the Leaning Tower.

Continuing on with last October’s Italian trip:

After leaving ViaReggio, we were taken to yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. On our arrival in the Tuscan city of Pisa, we boarded a cute little train which took us to one of the most famous towers in the world.

This is the sight which greeted us as we walked through the entrance to the grounds on which the city’s cathedral and bell tower stand. It was such a thrill to see the leaning tower for myself.

The beautiful Baptistry of Saint John, completed in 1363, the largest in Italy. The lower part of this 55m tall building is built in the Romanesque style, with rounded arches, while the upper registers are in the Gothic style, with pointed arches. It is made of marble, which was so typical of Italian architecture.

I had often wondered about the leaning tower, and why it leans sideways. Our guide told us that it was because it was built on unstable soil. Construction was started on the 180-foot bell tower in 1173, and the building began to lean as soon as the first three floors were completed. Building continued however, and the seven-story structure was finished between 1360 and 1370. The tower leans a little bit more each year and was closed for repairs in 1990, when it was leaning fourteen and a half feet to one side. Engineers worked to stabilize the foundation, straightening the tower only slightly to help prevent irreparable damage without taking away the uniqueness of the structure.

Hubby is a great DIY fanatic, and tried to push it upright with his finger, but without much success. πŸ˜‰

The tower is apparently the only thing of interest in Pisa, so once we’d seen it, and wandered around for about forty minutes, we were back on the train, after running the gauntlet of the inevitable street traders, selling all the usual rubbish, mostly made in China.

Our next stop was to be in the beautiful town of Lucca, which I’ll tell you all about next time.

58 comments on “Trying to straighten up the Leaning Tower.

  1. sold in Pisa, but made in China, perfecto! thanks for the cool pics, they never show you the actual buildings around the tower so thank you for that

  2. Such beautiful images. The train does look cute. I particularly like where you were trying to straighten the leaning tower. Brilliant idea! Thanks for a fun post.

  3. Isn’t it funny how holding up the Learning Tower has universal appeal. We have a good one of my wife doing so, but at the time, I didn’t notice someone else in the background having a similar pose.

    As I was reading I was thinking about how not much is there – and then you mentioned it!. We arrived by train, and had a long walk from the train station (which was a busy street that went past the university). Only to later notice that another station is near the tower.

    By the way, this area is near my mother’s hometown where I still can find aunts and cousins.

    • Our guide knew that this was the only attraction there. We were lucky to be able to bring the coach very close, and our seats were already booked on the little ‘train’. πŸ˜‰

  4. I did not realise that the tower leaned quite as much as it does, amazing that it’s still standing. Lovely pix and very interesting as always.

    • It is a fascinating sight to behold. I find it amazing that they carried on building it, even though they realised that the foundations needed serious attention. πŸ˜‰

  5. Wonderful photos and information. It’s s shame everything seems to be made in China. Very much enjoyed your post.


  6. you know when we were in Pisa I never even thought about taking the traditional shot of holding up the tower…. I regret it to this day! I gotta go back….

  7. LOL,I like your hubby,he’s of a kindred spirit in the way his mind works πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

    The DC

  8. The one place in the world I would like to spend an hour or two would be the leaning tower… it fascinates me that it has as yet not fallen over… I remember seeing a documentary about the engineering solution to shore up the tower… yet I seem to remember that it was not that successful or have I got that wrong??? It sure looks a lovely building to study, maybe if hubby had used two fingers…????

    • No, he was afraid that if he used two fingers, he might push it over too far the other way. πŸ˜† I think those engineers were obviously successful, in that the tower is still standing. πŸ˜‰

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