Wednesday Wander – Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy

pisa-2For this week’s Wander I’m visiting one of the most recognisable structures in the world – Italy’s famous leaning Tower Of Pisa.

When I took the photos out of the album I noticed I’d written ‘everything leans!’ next to the images, and I do remember that being true. The Cathedral and Baptistry were also slightly off-kilter, though it is the tower that demonstrates the most profound lean.

pisa-1Construction on the tower started in 1173 and took nearly 200 years to complete – this is partly because of wars halting construction for close to a century. Built of white marble, the tower started to lean during construction, due to inadequate foundations on ground too soft to support the tower’s weight. When construction was halted due to war the tower was only two floors high – this delay allowed the soil beneath the foundation to settle and stabilise, so when building resumed the tower did not fall.

However, it did continue to tilt, and the top is now nearly four metres out of alignment. When I visited, access to the tower was closed off, as it was felt that the tourists tramping up and down it, year after year, had contributed to further lean. That didn’t stop a couple of enterprising young men from coming up to us and telling us they had the keys to the tower if we wanted to go up – no doubt a line, but very entertaining nonetheless! The tower has since been stabilised and re-opened, so perhaps I’ll get to go up one day.

pisa-3The tower has had an interesting history in its long life, including unsubstantiated stories of Galileo conducting experiments in speed and mass by dropping cannonballs from the top of the tower, and it being used as an observation tower by the German forces during WWII. In fact, it was almost targeted in an artillery strike by Allied Forces – only the beauty of the site kept it from being destroyed. Thank goodness for that!

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time.


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

 

 

41 thoughts on “Wednesday Wander – Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy

  1. I obviously got there before you because it was open. And was it a weird experience. Especially as the outer walks lack any guard rails. Doubt I could do it these days. Scanned pix yes? They look very much like mine. Must remember to either photo mine or scan them.

    1. Oh that would have been weird! Especially as you got higher. To be honest I’m not sure I could have done that, I’m not great with heights. And yes, scanned pix – no matter what I do to them they look like that 😀

      1. I think they look better photo’d and cropped. My Canon never computed (!) with my Apple and then my computer went up the blink anyway so I started taking photos of the photos. Seems better quality to me. Unless you like the slightly retro look of scanned ones.

      2. I don’t mind the slightly retro look, to be honest, but it would probably be less hassle to photograph the photos and upload them, rather than scanning. Maybe I’ll try it that way next time 🙂

    1. Thanks, Craig – I know I’ve been really fortunate to have travelled as much as I have. Lots of places still to see yet, I hope 🙂 Doing these Wednesday Wanders has been nice, actually, as it’s reminded me of all the things I’ve seen.

  2. Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
    Really enjoyed this post from Helen – Pisa is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go! Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to Journey to Ambeth and say hello!

  3. I’ve always wanted to go here! I didn’t know other buildings leaned, too! Stumbled over here via Suzie! 🙂 I saw that you said the photos were scanned in; I like how they look kind of old school!

    1. Hi Becca! Thanks for coming over 🙂 And yes, all the buildings are slightly wonky, though the tower has the most pronounced lean. Guess it wasn’t the best spot to build massive ornate marble buildings 😀
      And I’m glad you like my old school photos – I’ve travelled a bit over the past few years so have a mix of digital and ‘paper’ shots to work with on my Wanders 🙂

      1. The best one we managed was my hand “pushing” down on the tower, while my mom “pushed” up, trying to keep it from falling over, haha. There was some space between my mom’s hands and the tower though, so it looks like she’s using superpowers or something. 🙂

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