Monday, 29 July 2013

Leaning Tower of Pisa

" "

Everyone makes mistakes. It"s a simple fact of life. But, unlike, the architect who designed the Leaning tower of Pisa Italy, most people"s mistakes does not weigh 14,500 tonnes. History is a fickle judge, however, and the people of Pisa don"t just like the leaning tower, they adore it. Strange that such a colossal miscalculation has instead been embraced as a symbol of civic pride. But perhaps it"s just a front for the tourist trade - you can purchase a ceramic leaning tower of Pisa of your very own at nearly every souvenir shop in the city. 

Located in Campo dei Miracoli (the aptly-named field of Miracles) The history of the leaning tower of Pisa is equally strange. Beginning in 1173 as a bell tower for Pisa"s cathedral, it wasn"t until five years later that began to tilt downward, just after the third floor was completed. As it turned out, the tower was built upon a dense clay mixture that was not nearly strong enough to hold the bell tower, and construction was halted for nearly 100 years. Architects hoped that allowing the soil to settle would stabilize the leaning tower of Pisa Italy. Plus, the city decided to refocus its energy into the war with nearby Genoa that they had become embroiled in.

A hundred years later the crooked history of the leaning tower of Pisa took another step forward, as architect Giovanni di Simone completed four more floors. These rose into the sky at an angle, too, in a misguided attempt to compensate for the original lean. Finally, in 1372, the bell chamber was attached to the top and the tower was gratefully left alone until the 19th century, giving it the shape that is memorialized in so many ceramic leaning tower of Pisa souvenirs across the world.

In 1838, the architect Alessandro Della Gherardesca decided it was a perfectly good idea to dig out a walkway around the tower so that visitors could see its carefully crafted base. Predictably, this only exacerbated the tower"s lean. Benito Mussolini was the next to try his hand at straightening the tower. He ordered the foundation to be filled in with concrete, but the concrete sunk into the wet clay and the leaning tower continued its prolonged descent towards the ground.

There was almost a tragic twist in the history of the leaning tower of Pisa Italy, when during World War II, the invading American army ordered all the towers in the city destroyed to protect against the threat of enemy snipers. Only a last-minute retreat spared the tower from destruction.

No comments:

Post a comment