Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Torre Pendente di Pisa: That's the name of the Pisa tower in Italian language. We all know that the tower leans... but have you wondered why!
- The tower of Pisa got the name because of the province in which it is built - PISA in Italy.
- The people of Pisa got wealthy after winning a few wars and they wanted to show their wealth by building a huge tower and that's Pisa tower.
- Pisa tower is supposed to be a Bell tower, with a cathedral and baptistery by the side.
- It's construction has began on august 9, 1173. But as the third floor got completed by 1178, the engineers to their horror found it leaning!
- The structure was great, the building material was excellent... but the basement seemed to be very soft!
- In fact the town got the name PISA from a Greek word `marshy land`, and such land is not strong enough to bear huge structures.
- This forced the government to halt the construction for 100 years, with a hope that the soil beneath the basement would settle.
- The construction again started in 1272, with four more floors being added to the tower.
- This time the engineers tried to rectify the lean look by building one side of the tower a bit higher than the other side. But this made the things worse and the tower looked as a curve!
- The tower was declared to be complete when a bell- chamber was added to it in 1372 and seven bells were placed in it.
- As the time passed... the tower is not just leaning, it was actually falling inch by inch towards the south direction.
- In 1990 to avoid any permanent damage to the structure, the bells were removed to reduce the weight and visitors were prohibited to alight the tower.
- Over 800 tonnes of lead were added on the northern side to counterweight the leaning side, and huge amount of soil from the basement on the northern side was removed to settle the account.
- The tower was tightly anchored to the ground using metallic cables to prevent a collapse. After such tactics of restoration, the tower is now declared to be fit for 300 more years. But nothing could rectify the initial lean of up to 12 feet from the center of the basement. The Pisa would be a leaning tower forever.