While there may be a controversy surrounding the identity of the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, there is none as far as the structure goes. It is among the seven wonders of the medieval world. The structure is a free standing bell tower, also known as a campanile, built in early twelfth century. The tower formed a part of the Square of Miracles complex to signify Pisa’s economic power and wealth. Catholic churches host a tower bell as ceremonial bells and the Leaning Tower of Pisa was the tower that hosted 7 bells for the Duomo di Pisa.
During construction, the bell tower developed a tilt to one side due to weak support of the foundation on that side from the soft ground. As the construction progressed, the tilt increased till it reached about 4 degrees during the 20th century when efforts ensured the tilt was arrested at that angle.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an imposing structure commanding impressive features such as
• Height of 56 meters
• Outer diameter of 16 meters
• 7 floors
• 7 bells tuned to musical scale
• 296 steps to the top
• Weighs 14,500 tons
• Took two hundred years to complete
Some interesting anecdotes of the tower include
• According to one source, the tower was the site of an important experiment – dropping of two cannonballs of differing mass to prove the descent is independent of the mass
• The leaning tower explains another Physics principle – the tower will not fall as its center of gravity is kept within its base
• The beauty of the tower saved it from destruction when, in WWII, a military officer saved it from coming under artillery attack
Though the tilt of the tower is accidental, it proved fortuitous as it earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag in 1987.