The Leaning Tower of Pisa


The Leaning Tower of Pisa is famous simply because it leans. The tower is made up of eight floors of limestone and lime mortar, covered on the outside with marble.

It was intended to stand vertically so as to serve as a bell tower of the cathedral in the Italian city of Pisa, but began leaning soon after construction. Both because of its inclination and it beauty, from 1173 up to the present, the Tower has been the object of very special attention.

It is an outstanding example of Romanesque architecture, and would probably be famous, even if it didn’t lean. The lean was first noticed during construction on the third floor. The tower leans because it is not built on suitable ground.

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The heavy and tall building is only six feet above sea level and is built on a riverbed. The underlying ground is made up of layers of sand and clay. The layers are not even as the weight of the building has compressed them. Because the layers are not even, the tower has sunk more in some places than others.


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