Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Torre pendente di Pisa

The train ride was quite nice to Pisa and I slept most of the way since I was so tired.

This was my first time in Pisa so it was very exciting to see the famous leaning tower!  There were other buildings to see as well, including the duomo and cemetery.

Construction of the tower occurred in three stages across 177 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 8, 1173, during a period of military success and prosperity. The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. In 1272 construction resumed under Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is actually curved. Construction was halted again in 1284, when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria. The seventh floor was completed in 1319. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372.

inside of the cemetery

a demon


The Islamic influence in the architecture was evident from the stripe designs.


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