Italy’s leaning tower of Pisa has been a spot for tourist attraction since time immemorial. The leaning tower has been a part of every visitor’s photograph featuring their poses with the tilt.
Unfortunately, the leaning tower of Pisa is losing its tilt. Slowly and steadily, the tower is moving upright.
How Old Is The Lean?
The lean in the leaning tower is as old as the tower. The tilt came 5 years after the construction began in the year 1173.
The layer of sand and clay on which the tower is built is softer on the southern side as compared to the northern. As a result, the shifting soil had unsettled the foundation of the tower, when the third storey was being built.
Why Is The Leaning Tower Significant?
The leaning tower of Pisa was intended to be a freestanding bell tower for the cathedral of Pisa, Italy. But, due to some architectural defects, it turned out to be a tilted tower.
The leaning tower was a part of Galileo’s gravity experiment in the 16th century. The physicist mathematician dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the top of the tower to show that mass doesn’t affect the speed of fall of the object.
Over the next centuries, the tilt became an important part of the tower’s appeal. It was nearing a collapse in 1990 having a tilt of 5.5 degrees and therefore, engineers started the stabilization efforts.
What Did The Study Find?
The study was funded by Opera Primaziale Della Pisana(OPA). This is a monument conservation and preservation organization working in Italy. Nunziante Squeglia, a professor of geotechnics from the University of Pisa, said that while the tilt of the tower has been reduced, it still leans at an average of 0.02 inches every year.
The stabilization work has led to the tower becoming upright. The 11-year stabilization project reduced the tilt, by 15 inches, from 2001. In the last 21 years, the tower has straightened itself by another 1.6 inches, the study found.
The leaning tower of Pisa had its unique quality of tilt, though, it was by mistake. The site has a huge historical and scientific significance. Stabilization might help in correcting the age-old mistake, but still, some mistakes are beautiful. This lean is the beauty of the monument. It should remain.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth
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This post is tagged under: monuments, Pisa, technology, history, tilt, leaning tower of Pisa, Italy, galileo, experiment, mistake, shifting soil, attraction, travel, photographs, report, preservation, conservation, science, history, engineering, stabilisation
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