Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leaning Tower of Pisa

     The leaning Tower of Pisa is the bell tower for the Catholic cathedral of the city of Pisa. located along the Arno River in Italy.
     The tower was built in the 11th century and is Pisa's third oldest building (only the cathedral and its baptistry are older).
     Within five years of being finished, the tower began to lean. Alarmed, the government halted further work for 100 years, hoping the ground would settle. Construction resumed in 1272, but when the tower began to lean even more, work was stopped again. Finally, construction resumed in the early 14th century, and it would take nearly 800 years to complete the tower.
     In 1838, when a pathway was dug at the base of the tower so that people could see the base, the tower began to lean even more.
     On February 27, 1964, the government of Italy asked for help in keeping the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over. A team of engineers installed a temporary counter-weight.
     In 1990, the tower was closed and re-anchored. It re-opened in 2001 for tourists.
     Today, even though it is still leaning, the tower is considered safe and sturdy.

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The baptistry of the Cathedral of Pisa is named after St. John the Baptist, and is the largest baptistry in Italy.