General Awareness

The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Is Getting Straighter – Experts Reveal

This sounds strange but it is getting somehow different from the previous structural elements of it’s build. Yes! we are talking about ‘The Leaning Tower Of Pisa’ and it is found that inevitably itself it is getting somehow straighter compared to it’s previous photos.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks, isn’t leaning as much as it used to.

The medieval bell tower has straightened by 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) over the last two decades, a group created to monitor the monument’s restoration said this week.

“It’s as if it’s had two centuries taken off its age,” said Professor Salvatore Settis.

Nunziante Squeglia, a professor of geotechnics at the University of Pisa, who is also a member of the surveillance group, added, “what counts the most is the stability of the bell tower, which is better than expected.”

The Leaning Tower has been leaning ever since one side shifted under the softer clay and sand it is built on when construction began in 1173.

The tower, visited by 5 million people every year, was closed between 1990 and 2001 for emergency restorative work, as a team led by engineer Michele Jamiolkowski corrected its tilt by 15.7 inches (40cm) — restoring it close to its original angle.

Ansa news agency quoted a consultant to the international committee monitoring the tilt, Nunziante Sabia, as saying that while the progressive recovery of tilt is good news, the overall structural health of the tower is more important.

The 12th-century tower reopened to the public in 2001 after being closed for more than a decade to let workers reduce its slant.

By using hundreds of tons of lead counterweights at the base and extracting soil from under the foundations, engineers initially shaved 17 inches off the lean.

LEANING TOWER OF PISA

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry.

The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. In 1990 the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but following remedial work between 1993 and 2001 this was reduced to 3.97 degrees, reducing the overhang by 45 cm at a cost of £200m. It lost a further 4 cm of tilt in the two decades to 2018.

Guinness World Records

Two German churches have challenged the tower’s status as the world’s most lop-sided building: the 15th-century square Leaning Tower of Suurhusen and the 14th-century bell tower in the town of Bad Frankenhausen. Guinness World Records measured the Pisa and Suurhusen towers, finding the former’s tilt to be 3.97 degrees. In June 2010, Guinness World Recordscertified the Capital Gate building in Abu Dhabi, UAE as the “World’s Furthest Leaning Man-made Tower”; it has an 18-degree slope, almost five times more than the Pisa Tower, but was deliberately engineered to slant. The Leaning Tower of Wanaka in New Zealand, also deliberately built, leans at 53 degrees to the ground.

Technical information

An elevation image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa cut with laser scan data from a University of Ferrara/CyArk research partnership, with source image accurate down to 5 mm (0.2 in)

  • Elevation of Piazza del Duomo: about 2 metres (6 feet, DMS)
  • Height from the ground floor: 55.863 metres (183 ft 3 in), 8 stories
  • Height from the foundation floor: 58.36 m (191 ft 5.64 in)
  • Outer diameter of base: 15.484 metres (50 ft 9.6 in)
  • Inner diameter of base: 7.368 metres (24 ft 2.1 in)
  • Angle of slant: 3.97 degrees or 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the vertical
  • Weight: 14,700 metric tons (16,200 short tons)
  • Thickness of walls at the base: 2.44 metres (8 ft 0 in)
  • Total number of bells: 7, tuned to musical scale, clockwise
    • 1st bell: L’Assunta, cast in 1654 by Giovanni Pietro Orlandi, weight 3,620 kg (7,981 lb)
    • 2nd bell: Il Crocifisso, cast in 1572 by Vincenzo Possenti, weight 2,462 kg (5,428 lb)
    • 3rd bell: San Ranieri, cast in 1719–1721 by Giovanni Andrea Moreni, weight 1,448 kg (3,192 lb)
    • 4th bell: La Terza (1st small one), cast in 1473, weight 300 kg (661 lb)
    • 5th bell: La Pasquereccia or La Giustizia, cast in 1262 by Lotteringo, weight 1,014 kg (2,235 lb)
    • 6th bell: Il Vespruccio (2nd small one), cast in the 14th century and again in 1501 by Nicola di Jacopo, weight 1,000 kg (2,205 lb)
    • 7th bell: Dal Pozzo, cast in 1606 and again in 2004, weight 652 kg (1,437 lb)
  • Number of steps to the top: 296

 

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