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What is wrong with the Tower of Pisa?
The Leaning Tower –one of the most intriguing
To your attention there is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most intriguing historic architectural miracles of the world and one of the most popular sights.
The Tower of Pisa is known as "La Torre de Pisa" in Italian. It is a miracle because it leans though according to its design it should be perfectly vertical. You may wonder why this Leaning Tower is unique because North Italy has a number of leaning towers. The thing is that most of them started leaning quite a while after they were built, so the one at Pisa is unique. Te Tower is an object of art and it`s protected by UNESCO. The part of the city where the Leaning Tower is located is called the Field of Miracles. A local joke is that it is called the Field of Miracles because it`s a miracle that anything`s still standing on it/ (laughs) Right now I`d like to take a minute to make you familiar with the brief history of the Tower.
The brief history of the Tower of Pisa
The construction of the Tower of Pisa began on August 9th, 1173 and continued for about 200 years due to a series of wars. Till today, the name of the architect is a mystery. Construction started and three storey's were built. Then the tower began to lean. The soil beneath the tower was soft and the thick foundation was not strong enough to support its weight. Construction was stopped for almost a 100 years. In 1275, construction began again. This time two storey's were made a bit taller on the short side but it only caused the Tower to lean further.
The construction ended 200 years later in the 14th century, but each year it leans1.25 millimeters. There is an interesting fact about the Tower. The greatest astronomer, mathematician and physician Galileo Galileo was born in Pisa. He made some of his experiments concerning the speed of falling objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Many ideas have been offered to make the Tower of Pisa straight. There was even an idea of taking it apart stone by stone and rebuilding it at a different location. In 1934the Italian government pumped concrete under the base of the Tower to correct the leaning, but the leaning increased. Architects are still searching for the solution. They are afraid that one day the bell tower may become the toppled Tower of Pisa. (laughs)
Some facts about the Tower
Now there are some facts about this Tower. The Tower is sometimes called more accurately the bell tower because there are seven bells in it. The Tower is made of white marble and has many columns. Many even think that the Tower of Pisa looks like a massive wedding cake, doesn`t it? (laughs)
The height of the Tower is 56 meters. So, it is probably the tallest bell tower in Europe. The weight of the Tower is measured to be 14,500 tons. It has eight storey's and there is a 297-step spiral staircase inside the Tower leading to the top. Tourists who come here always wonder, "Can I climb this Tower?" From 1990 to 2004, the internal steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa were closed to the public, out of concern for both structure and visitors. Now you can climb its spiral staircase. But the number of visitors who are allowed to climb the Leaning Tower every day is limited. It is expensive to do so - € 15 - so it is better to book a ticket on-line in advance. And opening hours are 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.
I think the Leaning Tower is only one of many beautiful treasures of Pisa. When you see all of them, ladies and gentlemen, you will say "I Love Pisa!"
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