Conundrum behind the leaning tower of Pisa!
28 July, 2020
"I will not fall ;I will stand tall"
These words by infamous rapper Eminem reminds me of 'The
leaning tower of Pisa' in Italy. It is a free standing bell tower which is
known worldwide for its unintended tilt. It is the third oldest structure in
the city. There has been contention about the real architect of Pisa tower. The
architects who designed the tower are Bonanno Pisano, Giovanni De Simone who
were Italian Engineers (kudos!). The
burning question that usually arises in everyone’s mind is how that tower is
tilted and yet not toppled. During construction in 12th century, due to the ground being too soft to
properly support this massive structure, the tilting of the tower took place.
The tilt increased in the
decades before the structure got completed in the14th century. The construction
of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. The architects tried to
complete the tower within two decades. But it is not everyone’s cup of tea. The
structure toppled during the construction of second floor due to weak, unstable
subsoil. However, the battles took place between The Republic of Pisa and
Genoa, Lucca, Florence halted the construction for almost a century. This
allowed the soil to settle. Otherwise that would have collapsed by now(Thank God)!
Numerous efforts were made to restore the tower from falling
over. But most of these efforts went in vain and worsened the tilt. In 1964, The
Republic of Italy requested aid to prevent the tower from toppling. But this
act of Italy promoted tourism in Pisa(That's a blessing in disguise). The tower
was closed to public in 1990. The bells were removed and the cables were
clinched to the tower and anchored.
The solution chosen to prevent
the tilting is to remove 38 cubic meters of soil from underneath the raised end
to straighten the tower. However it worked and continuous efforts for a decade
straightened the tower returning to its 1838 position. Lead counterweights are stacked on the tower
during restoration in 1998. In December15 ,2001, this tower is declared to be
stable for another 300 years and opened to public. Nowadays people are
wondering about the conundrum behind this tower ,but the efforts took by the
experts made it possible for the leaning tower to be stable and erect. Those
decisions made by wise men kept this monument standing tall inspite of all the
hurdles and obstacle. Ultimately this tower is a personification of bravery and
tall amidst the sky; by beating all the
odds and let them fly"