Lottery Winner Travels – Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Lottery players will love hearing about the leaning tower of Pisa.
Oops, not everything goes as planned.
The architects of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa certainly didn’t intend on making a building that looks like it is about to fall down! However, this intriguing icon of Italy is what gets lottery players who love to travel all excited. What happened to make it lean? Is it ever really going to fall to the ground?
The Lottery Centre brings readers to another weird and wonderful travel location this week into the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy and to the 843-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa. This bizarre monument continues to capture our imaginations. No one ever needs a reason to visit Tuscany, but the story of the crooked bell tower will have you checking your lottery tickets for that big win and an opportunity to make a trip to see the tower in person.
Icon of Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower famous for its lean. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It stands in the city of Pisa in the Tuscany region of Italy. The city got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.” Pisa has other towers that lean as well, however the bell tower is the most famous and is a treasured icon of the Italian people. Millions of visitors come see it every year. The famous Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo even used the tower for his scientific experiments.
The tower is located next to the Cathedral of Pisa in the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). It is the third oldest building in the square. In Italian, it is known as Torre Pendente di Pisa. The weight of the tower is 14, 500 metric tons. Its original height was 60 metres however; it now stands at 56.67 metres on the highest side and 55.86 metres on the lowest side.
The Tower of Pisa is a white marble medieval structure made in the Romanesque style. It is cylindrical in shape with elegant arcades and open galleries between floors. The building has 8 floors with the 8th floor being an observation deck. The top can be reached by climbing the 294 spiral steps on the inside of the tower walls. There are 7 bells each tuned to a different musical note.
Sinking into the ground
Construction on The Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173. However back then it was not leaning. In fact, the tower stood upright for 5 years. The lean began in 1178 after the completion of the third floor. The tower was built on a foundation of dense clay only 3 metres deep. What the architects did not account for was that the clay was not strong enough and the tower began to go down on its weakest point. Construction was stopped for the next 100 years. The work stoppage however was not due to foundation difficulties but to war.
Then in 1272 work began again to add 4 more floors and the tower started to lean more. This was when the builders tried to compensate for the tilt and make one side of the floors taller than the other. Construction was stopped for the second time but for the same reason as the first, war.
In 1319, the 7th floor was finished and the bell chamber added in 1372. In 1838, a prominent architect dug a pathway near the base of the tower so that people can observe the intricate craftsmanship. The tower began to lean more. The people of Italy wanted to keep the lean of the tower as it became an important part of tourism, however to prevent it from shifting further lead counterweights of 800 tons were installed in 1964.
Is the tower ever going to come crashing down?
If construction were not stopped the first time due to war, the tower would have toppled down. It is thought that the 100 years it had to sit helped to allow the earth underneath to settle. The tower was closed from 1990 to 2001 for restorations. It is believed that the tower is now steady and safe for the next 200 to 300 years.
The two most popular activities for tourists when visiting the tower is taking pictures pretending to either hold it up or knock it down, and climbing to the top.
Some people say that The Leaning Tower of Pisa should be straightened. The people of Pisa say that they would rather see it fall down than be straight because then what is the point of having a famous leaning tower if it no longer leans!
The city of Pisa and its fascinating bell tower are just one of many attractions in the Tuscan region of Italy. There is an excellent rail network that links Pisa with other cities so be sure to explore other sites in Lucca, Florence, Siena and the spectacular countryside. Beautiful romantic hotels and villas, remarkable food and wine and amazing people all make for an incredible vacation in Italy.
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