The most interesting incredible researched facts
about the most famous freestanding bell tower.
We answer all the questions you have with 100% correct facts.
Delivered to you straight from Pisa.
Where is it? Pisa, Tuscany, Italy (read more)
How tall is it? 58.4m - 191ft (read more)
Why is it leaning? because the foundation gave up (read more)
What's its history? see the timeline here
When was it built? the construction started in 1173 (read more)
Who built it? uncertain. A lot of people took part in the process (read more)
How is it inside? hollow, with a spiral staircase climbing to the very top (read more)
How many steps does it have? 257 inside + 12 outside (read more)
What is it made of? White marble (read more)
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous monuments in the World. Located in Tuscany, Italy, the Tower was built as a freestanding bell tower for the nearby cathedral. The construction started in 1173 and it took 200 years.
The tower, 58.4m high (on 8 floors), was supposed to be straight but due to the unstable soil, it ended up leaning.
During its life (over 840 years), several attempts were made to save it from falling. The most remarkable attempt is dated to the end of the previous century when, with a budget of 30 million and 10 years of works, the Tower was straightened over 1.5°.
At the top of this magnificent marble Tower, you can still find its original 7 brass bells. However, in order to get there to admire them, you have to climb 269 steps (yes, we counted them).
Today the Tower gathers over 5 million visitors each year and it makes about 21 million Euro per year.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was stabilized with a massive engineering operation that took place in the 90s, in the attempt to stop the monument from falling. In fact, by the end of the 80s, the Tower was slowly heading toward its catastrophic collapse.
The Monument has been closed to the public for the entire duration of the works (over a decade: 1990 - 2001).
Here is how they stabilized it...
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has been leaning for over 800 years and, despite earthquakes, storms and wars, it is still standing.
However, a Team of engineers is constantly monitoring its inclination and people in Pisa are ready to take action to save the Tower should its inclination become critical.
But what is a critical inclination and why the Leaning Tower of Pisa does not fall?
Here are the answers...
The famous Leaning Tower is located in Pisa, standing on a grassy field known as "Square of Miracles".
Pisa is a small town in Italy, counting about 91 000 residents.
The Province of Pisa is located in the beautiful region of Tuscany, in a very convenient geographical position...
The Tower of Pisa, originally designed to be an elaborate free-standing tower bell ("campanile" in Italian), ended up being a marvelous engineering wonder that has been fighting gravity for almost a millennia.
This is probably one of the most asked questions... to the point that Google gives a straight answer: 57 meters.
However, you should not always believe what you are told and - just for this time - you should not trust even Google.
...because GOOGLE IS WRONG on this one: the Leaning Tower of Pisa is NOT 57 meters tall...
When you stand on the square underneath the Leaning Tower, you cannot help appreciating his majesty. It stands tall and it leans upon you. There is something magic about it.
The entire monument is made out of solid rock. You look at it from the bottom up and you cannot really grasp how much work it must have been necessary to put all that together.
On top of that, each stone is different. There are literally thousands of little details and features sculpted in the white marble!
You are enchanted by its beauty. Then a question arises...
How does it look on the inside?
The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began over 800 years ago and the whole process lasted about 200 years (1173-1372). Consequently, there were several persons involved in the construction of this fabulous monument (and a couple of legal entities).
As there are little records of the original construction documents of the Tower, the details of "who did what and when" are not entirely clear.
However, here is what we know...
It is so white that from far it looks like a cotton candy.
You would never say that all that stones amount to a weight of over 14000 tons!
As you walk closer details come to life and you start noticing that is it not pure white.
So what is the Tower of Pisa made of?
It is marble, yes... but there is more than that...
There are 257 steps to get from the bottom of the Tower to the bells chamber and 12 more steps to enter the Tower itself.
How do we know? ...we went there and counted ourselves!
Believe it or not, no one is reporting this fact right… neither Wikipedia nor Google and not even the signs in “Piazza dei Miracoli” in Pisa, where the Tower stands... or for better use of words, leans.
So we went there and we counted the steps one by one ON VIDEO!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is perhaps the most famous leaning building in the World.
However, its audacious statement against gravity is something that was not planned in its initial design.
To understand why the Tower started to lean, we must have a look at the geographical location of the small Town of Pisa...
While the Tower was built as a freestanding tower bell for the nearby Cathedral, today its purpose is very different.
In fact, nowadays the bells are seldom used.
Today the Leaning Tower of Pisa is used to make money!
How much money? ...keep reading...
It was the year 1172 when Donna Berta di Bernardo gifted sixty silver coins to purchase some of the stones for the foundation of a tower to be built nearby the newly constructed Cathedral in Pisa.
Excavation works for the foundation started right away and the first stones were laid on Thursday the 9th August 1173.
...but there is more to it...
The Leaning Tower of Pisa was initially planned as a perfectly straight freestanding bell tower for the nearby Cathedral.
The construction of the Tower began in the year 1173 and in just 5 years they completed the first 3 floors. Until then, everything was going according to the plan.
Things started to go sideways when the foundations began to sink into the soft ground and the entire structure was suddenly leaning on one side...
In 2019 the Leaning Tower of Pisa is going to be 846 years old.
...this if you count its age starting from the beginning of construction in 1173.
If you were to count from the year the construction was completed, the tower would then be much younger.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous landmarks in the World.
Its name says it all: it is a Tower, it is leaning.
What most people fail to realize is that "Pisa" is not a name of a person (like in "David of Michelangelo") but the name of a City.
So the question here can be rephrased to "in which Country is Pisa"?
It seems people like pizza a lot. So much to think that everything in Italy is about pizza.
Is there a Leaning Tower of Pizza in Italy?
As a matter of fact, there isn't.
Here is what you'll find instead...
The stabilization works for the Tower began in the year 1990 and it took an entire decade to recover some of its inclination.
From over 5°, the lean was brought back to less than 4°. This is considered to be a safe inclination and experts say the Tower can now stand 200 more years without any further intervention.
The stabilization works to fix the Tower were led and coordinated by a group of brilliant minds. Here are the most relevant names...
Most people visit Pisa on a day trip from the nearby city of Florence. This is quite surprising seeing how Pisa has so much to offer than just the famous Learning Tower...