- Italy -
Here is a structure we have all heard about - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. It is located in the Italian town of Pisa, one of the most visited European cities.
Facts: Tower of Pisa stands at 60 metres and until 1990 was leaning at about a 10 degree angle. Although it was designed to be perfectly vertical, it started to lean during construction.
Tower of Pisa is more accurately referred to simply as the bell tower, or campanile. The Pisa tower is one of the four buildings that make up the cathedral complex in Pisa, Italy, called Campo dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli, which means Field of Miracles.
The first building constructed at Campo dei Miracoli, Pisa, was the cathedral, or Duomo di Pisa, which rests on a white marble pavement and is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture. The next building added was the baptistery just west of the dome.Then work on the campanile began. Before the work on the campanile was completed the cemetery, Campo Santo, was built.
Piazza dei Miracoli of Pisa is the most splendiferous assemblage of Romanesque architecture in Italy. Faced in gray-and-white striped marble and bristling with columns and arches, the cathedral, with its curiously Islamic dome and matching domed baptistery, rises from an emerald green lawn.
Flanking one side of the piazza, the camposanto, or cemetery, is a gracefully elongated cloister enclosing a burial ground with earth reputedly brought back during the Crusades from Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, so that noble Pisans could rest in holy ground.
Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning "marshy land".
There are several other towers in Pisa that also lean: the bell tower at the church of St. Michele dei Scalzi, and the bell tower at the church of St. Nicola.
The cathedral and baptistery are also sinking.
Galileo was baptized in the baptistery in 1565.
The foundation of the cemetery, Campo Santo, is made up of 53 shiploads of earth that were brought back from the Hill of Calvary in Jerusalem.
Clancy's comment: Amazing, eh? When you look at many structures I have featured on this blog such as Angkor Wat and this tower, one has to ask one simple question: how far has the modern world come with all its technology? By comparison, not too far I'd suggest.