The leaning tower of Pisa, or "La Torre di Pisa" in Italian, is a well-known Italian landmark. Renowned for its circular architecture and distinct leaning position, the tower is considered a rite of passage for many European travelers. Each year, masses of visitors descend on Pisa to photograph the curious leaning tower and to marvel at its beauty.Significance
The leaning tower of Pisa is significant because of its location and status as a visual focal point in the cathedral complex and in the city. It is visible from a long distance, and was likely a point of pride and a symbol of religion and power for the ancient Pisan citizens. Today, the tower is known for its incline, which defies laws of physics and for its spectacular architecture.Features
The most obvious feature of the tower in Pisa is the angle at which it stands to the ground. Instead of standing without an angle, the tower leans 3.97 degrees from center. The circular structure of the building distinguishes it from other famous Italian bell towers and echoes the architecture of the nearby cathedral. The repetitive decorative exterior features were designed to create a strong play of light and shadow.
Located in Pisa, Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a popular destination for travelers to Italy. A short train ride from the Cinque Terre and Florence, Pisa is an easy day trip or a pleasant overnight stop. The tower itself is located in the Piazza dei Miracoli, off of the Via Cardinale Maffi or the Via Roma. From the train station, the leaning tower is easily accessible by taxi or on foot. The Pisa international airport connects travelers to the rest of Europe and the world.Theories/Speculation
The reason for the famous incline of the leaning tower of Pisa is under debate. Some researchers believe that the natural condition of the ground around the foundation caused the building to shift during and after construction. They believe that the original designs for the tower in Pisa called for a vertical structure, and that the leaning began during the long construction process. Others, however, believe that the architect designed the tower to lean intentionally, thereby setting it apart from other buildings of the type.
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