Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts

15 Interesting Facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The very famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower of Pisa Cathedral located in Piazza Dei Miracoli (field of miracles). One of the lesser-known Leaning Tower of Pisa facts is that the bell tower is one of four structures that are a part of the Cathedral complex which includes the cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery. Tourists from all over the world visit the city of Pisa, Italy to look at the Leaning Tower of Pisa which stands tilted at 4 degrees.

It is popularly known as the Tower of Pisa, the Bell Tower of Pisa, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The bright white marble that the bell tower is constructed with is the same that is used for building all the other three structures of the complex. One of many interesting facts about Pisa Tower is that the medieval Romanesque architecture of the structure gained its popularity due to a design flaw that caused it to lean and is known as one of the major tourist attractions in Italy.

It was one of the 7 Wonders of the World

One of the best Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts is that it was declared one of the seven wonders of the world for its extraordinary Romanesque architecture and tilted structure. Even though only medieval structures are considered for being the seven wonders of the world, the bell tower’s leaning quality earned it the regard of being considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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It took Two Centuries to Build

There are a few interesting Leaning Tower of Pisa facts that sets the structure apart from its counterparts. The fact that the bell tower took almost two centuries to complete the build is astounding in itself However, the construction was halted for more than one reason. Once, after the completion of the third story, the tower started to lean, and later due to historic battles, the tilt was observed. The construction was started in 1173 and was finally completed in 1372.

The Leaning Tower in Pisa is a Word Heritage Site

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a renowned architectural wonder located in Pisa, Italy. Completed in 1372, this iconic bell tower's distinctive tilt was caused by unstable soil, resulting in its leaning posture. Standing at around 56 meters tall, the tower contains eight stories and seven bells. It attracts millions of visitors annually who marvel at its unique design and historical significance. Ongoing restoration efforts have successfully stabilized the tower, ensuring its continued preservation as a symbol of both architectural ingenuity and unintended structural peculiarity.

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The Tower is not only leaning, but it is also curved

Another one of many interesting Leaning Tower of Pisa facts is that the structure is not just leaning but is also curved. As the tower started to lean, the engineers tried to minimize the height difference between either side of the tower to lessen the tilt. They tried to fix the lean-on floors that were built later on by increasing the height of the floors on one side that appeared shorter. This resulted in the tower being slightly curved.

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The Tower in Pisa was not leaning initially

Initially, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, located in Italy, was not intended to lean. Construction began in the 12th century, and by the time the third floor was added, the tower started leaning due to the unstable soil beneath. The tower stands about 56 meters tall and features eight stories with seven bells. Ingenious engineering efforts have been undertaken over centuries to prevent its collapse. Despite its unintended lean, the tower remains a symbol of architectural marvel and draws millions of tourists who are captivated by its unique and captivating history.

There are more leaning towers in Pisa

The city of Pisa is known for its marshy land, and the city is named Pisa which is Greek for marshy land. Since there are other buildings built on the same land as that of the bell tower, there are other leaning towers in the city. The land soil has caused other structures to sink and lean just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The other leaning towers are the bell tower of the Church of San Nicola and the bell tower of St. Michele Dei Scalzi.

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Other Towers Tilted More Than the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Even though the Leaning Tower of Pisa has gained widespread popularity for its leaning structure, several other buildings in the world are also tilted. The other leaning towers of the world include the leaning tower of Suurhusen in Germany, a 14th-century church called Oberkirche in the town of Bad Frankenhausen, and the shorter tower of the Two Towers of Bologna.

It takes 296 steps to reach the top of the Leaning Tower

The long list of fascinating Leaning Tower of Pisa facts includes the number of steps it takes to cover to reach the top of the bell tower. The tower has a total of 8 floors with 296 steps to ascend to the top. The total height of the tower is about 57 meters with a 4-degree tilt.

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Seven huge bells on the top of the Leaning Tower in Pisa

The beautiful and tall structure of the bell tower houses seven huge bells on the top. The largest bell weighs over 3,600 kgs. One of the lesser-known Leaning Tower of Pisa facts is that each of the seven bells represents a musical note. However, the bells haven’t rung since the 20th century as the engineers fear that the movement of such heavy bells might cause the tower to lean further.

The Tower Leans Because Of Ill-Conceived Design Plans

Even though its eccentricity is what sets the bell tower apart, the tower ended up leaning due to poor design and planning. The engineer of the Leaning Tower of Pisa had insufficient knowledge of soil mechanics which resulted in the unavoidable flaw. The marshy land of Pisa is composed mainly of clay and sand. As the structure started to sink and lean, the construction had to be paused and re-imagined.

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At One Point, The Tower’s Lean Switched Directions

As strange as it may sound, amongst all the Leaning Tower of Pisa facts, this fact takes the cake. There was a time during the construction of the third floor when the tower started to lean northward as opposed to its original southward lean. It is suggested that the change of direction happened as the gravity was thrown off. Although, after building the fourth floor and onwards, it returned to its original tilting position.

The Lean Kept Getting Progressively Worse

As the land soil remained the same, the bell tower continued to sink in and the lean kept progressing. Engineers and architects put a lot of time and effort to curb the situation by solidifying the foundation to stop it from sinking and leaning further. The bell tower had a maximum of 5.5 degrees tilt by 1990 until the foundation was further solidified and put an end to the tilt.

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The Tower Could Still Resume Tilting

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, situated in Italy, could potentially resume tilting due to the ongoing geological factors. Its foundation rests on unstable soil composed of clay, silt, and water, which could cause the tower's angle to change over time. Engineering interventions, including soil removal and counterweights, have successfully stabilized the tower's lean, but the risk of future movement remains. Continuous monitoring and maintenance are essential to ensure its preservation.

Mussolini Tried To Fix The Tower. He Only Made It Worse

The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini detested the bell tower of Pisa. He considered it a national disgrace and was ashamed of the structure. In an attempt to fix the tilt, Mussolini ordered to drill holes into the base of the tower and fill it with grout to strengthen its foundation. However, the efforts went in vain as it caused the tower to lean further.

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The Tower Was A Military Base During World War II.

Standing tall at 57 meters of height, the Pisa tower also served as a military base during World War II. The German army used it to survey the surrounding areas from the top of the tower. It was used as a prime lookout spot by the soldiers to keep an eye on the enemy.


Why is the Leaning Tower of Pisa famous?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa gained popularity for its unconventional structure. Surrounded by the beautiful building of the Cathedral complex, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands out with its almost 4-degree tilt and gorgeous medieval architecture.

What are 3 interesting facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa was considered the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • The bell tower is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • There are seven huge bells situated at the top of the Leaning Tower and the heaviest one weighs over 3,600 kilograms.

Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa worth visiting?

The Leaning of Pisa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is surely worth visiting. Witness the marvel of the leaning tower and its stunning Gothic architecture. The amazing tilt of the tower will leave you awestruck.

When was the Tower of Pisa built?

Amongst very astonishing Leaning Tower of Pisa facts, the fact that the tower took almost two centuries to completely build is quite historic. The construction began in 1173 and was then stopped due to Italian wars and battles, and was finally completed in 1372.

Who built the leaning tower of Pisa?

Architect Tomaso di Andrea Pisano is the one who completed finishing the bell tower. There were several architects involved during the two phases of construction. Other architects who are credited are Bonnano Pisano & Gherardo din Gherardo (first phase) and Giovani di Simone & Tomaso Pisano (second phase).

What keeps the Leaning Tower of Pisa from falling?

The vertical line from the center of gravity continues to fall inside the base of the tower. This scientific phenomenon allows the Leaning tower of Pisa to stand without the risk of falling.

How many steps are in the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

There are many guesses as to how many steps are actually in the bell tower of Pisa. However, this point remains the most mysterious amongst the Leaning Tower of Pisa facts. It is speculated that there are a total of 296 spiral steps in the bell tower.


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