What are some facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa?


Quick Answer

Builders began constructing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 1173. It first began tilting after the builders finished the first third.

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Full Answer

Some fun facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa include:

  • Builders began constructing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 1173, and after they finished the first third it began tilting at around 0.2 degrees.
  • After the first tilting episode, building efforts halted for 100 years. By the time it started again, the building had tilted by 0.7 degrees. Construction efforts ended in 1372, lasting 199 years.
  • The construction team made an effort to stop the tilt by building upwards. However, it just tilted in different directions. First it went north, then east and finally settled on south.
  • While the tower used to tilt at an average rate of 21 seconds a year, it now tilts just 7 seconds a year.
  • The reason the tower tilts is because its foundations rest on soft subsoil, which cannot withstand its 14,500 ton weight.
  • On the north side of the tower there are 294 steps, and there are 296 steps on the south side.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa forms part of the UNESCO heritage site Cathedral Square.
  • This tower is not the only one in Pisa with leaning issues. Thanks to the soft subsoil there, several others lean.
  • The tower once acted as a lookout point for the Germans during World War II.
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