14. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Another one of the symbols of the country, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Italy. It is not an optical illusion, and at the same time the architects did not anticipate that the tower so lean.
As soon as the construction reached the third tier, as the tower began to sink into the ground due to poor foundation, and the slope became apparent. Currently, work is underway to strengthen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in order to preserve it for posterity.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt.
It is situated behind Pisa’s cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. The tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the centre.