Who hasn’t heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? This town earned its reputation from the cathedral’s bell tower, which leans at about a 4° angle. This means that the top of the tower is displace at 3.9 meters (12 feet 10 inches)!
The Church, Baptistery, Bell Tower, and Cemetery
The Piazza dei Miracoli is recognized as an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. The four religious buildings are the Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto Monumentale. Italian writer and poet Gabriele d’Annunzio described the square as the “meadow of miracles,” and the square is sometimes called the “Field of Miracles.” In 1987, the whole square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Pisa Cathedral dates back to 1064 and is a distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp hanging from the ceiling of the nave in this church.
The Baptistery stands at the opposite end of the church from the bell tower. The round Romanesque building dates back to 1153 and is the largest baptistery in Italy. The loggia, top story, and dome were added in the 14th century in Gothic style. The Baptistery is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, or the bell tower, is not intentionally leaning. The tilt began during construction caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to support the tower’s weight. The tilt kept increasing before the tower’s completion and continued to increase until 1999 when the tower was stabilized and partially corrected. The tower is the third oldest structure in the piazza after the church and baptistery. Construction began in 1173 and took 177 years to finish (for 100 of those years it was abandoned when they realized it was starting to lean), finally becoming complete in 1350. The bell chamber was added in 1372. The tower is almost 60 m high (196 feet) and was built to accommodate seven bells. It weighs about 14,500 metric tons and has 296 steps.
The walled cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, built around sacred soil from Calvary brought back to Pisa from the Fourth Crusade by the archbishop of Pisa in the 12th century. This is why it is sometimes called Holy Field (Campo Santo).
What Else Is There To Do In Pisa?
Pisa doesn’t seem to have much else to do besides take pictures kicking over the tower and then trying to hold it up. However, with so many tourists stopping by every day, there are still some other things to make note of. Pisa has 20 historic churches, several palaces, some bridges that cross the Arno River (the same river that runs through Florence), and a university (the University of Pisa) which dates back to the 12th century.
Who Does It Better?
Winner? I think me 🙂
Winner? I think him.