Construction began on a bell tower in Pisa, that became internationally famous as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Here are some fascinating facts about the medieval Leaning Tower of Pisa.

  • It was constructed between 1173 and 1399. The tower is part of the Campo dei Miracoli, a cathedral complex. The tower was stabilized and the lean was partially corrected in the 1990s.
  • It's been leaning for over 800 years, it has survived at least four earthquakes. It has seven bells.
  • Galileo used the tower to test his physics theories.
    Legend has it that scientist Galileo Galilei, a Pisa-local, experimented with gravity from atop the tower. He dropped two equal-sized cannonballs of different masses to clock their impact. Galilei was investigating the old wisdom that heavier objects fall faster, but this we now know to be untrue when other factors are equal. 
  • The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight, and it worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.