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Selasa, 31 Mei 2011

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Pisa Italy

The Leaning Tower Of Pisa - Pisa Italy
 The leaning Tower of Pisa is famous because it leans. Although it was designed to be perfectly vertical, it started to lean during construction. However, even without this famous characteristic, this building would still be one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. It stands at 60 metres and until 1990 was leaning at about a 10 degree angle.
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.
The real identity of Tower of Pisa’s architects is a mystery. The most accredited architects of this first phase of work are Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo din Gherardo. The second phase of construction started in 1275, and the work is attributed to Giovani di Simone. Tommaso Pisano (1350-1372) was the architect who finished the work.
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.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the piazza's crowning glory. Although only a third as high as the Washington Monument, it was a miracle of medieval engineering, probably the tallest bell towers in Europe. With 207 columns ranged around eight stories, Tower of Pisa looks like a massive wedding cake knocked precariously askew by a clumsy giant guest.
The construction of the leaning tower of Pisa began in august 1173, but was interrupted several times by wars, debt and while engineers worked on solutions to correct the lean. We now know that without these interruptions that allowed the soil to compress under the tower, it would have certainly toppled over. Pisa Tower was eventually completed in the mid-1300s.
The leaning Tower of Pisa was designed as a circular bell tower that would stand 185 feet high. It is constructed of white marble. The tower has eight stories, including the chamber for the bells. The bottom story consists of 15 marble arches. Each of the next six stories contains 30 arches that surround the tower. The final story is the bell chamber itself, which has 16 arches. There is a 297 step spiral staircase inside the tower leading to the top.
The top of the leaning tower of Pisa is about 17 feet off the vertical. The tower is also slightly curved from the attempts by various architects to keep it from leaning more or falling over.
Many ideas have been suggested to straighten the Tower of Pisa, including taking it apart stone by stone and rebuilding it at a different location. In the 1920s the foundations of the tower were injected with cement grouting that has stabilized the tower to some extent.
Until recent years tourists were not allowed to climb the staircase inside the tower, due to consolidation work. But now the leaning Tower of Pisa is open again and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.
The city of Pisa was at the beginning a simple Italian seaport. Its fame and power grew gradually over the years, as the people of Pisa were involved in various military conflicts and trade agreements. The Pisans attacked the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily in 1063. The attack was successful and the conquerors returned to Pisa with a great deal of treasure.
To show the world just how important the city was, the people of Pisa decided to build a great cathedral complex, the Field of Miracles. The plan included a cathedral, a baptistery, a bell tower (Tower of Pisa) and a cemetery.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The leaning of the Tower of Pisa comes into the story in 1173, when construction began. Thanks to the soft ground, it had begun to lean by the time its builders got to the third story, in 1178. Shifting soil had destabilized the tower's foundations. Over the next 800 years, it became clear the 55-metre tower wasn't just learning but was actually falling at a rate of one to two millimeters per year.
Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is more than five meters off perpendicular. Its architect and engineer tried to correct this by making the remaining storeys shorter on the uphill side - but to no avail. It kept leaning more and more. The lean, first noted when three of the tower's eight storeys had been built, resulted from the foundation stones being laid on soft ground consisting of clay, fine sand and shells.
The next storeys were built slightly taller on the short side of the tower in an attempt to compensate for the lean. However, the weight of the extra floors caused the edifice to sink further and lean more.

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