The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa Timeline

Much has happened to the tower since its initial construction. From shoddy construction to war, the tower has seen a lot throughout its life.

Here's a timeline with some important dates:

  • 1173 - Construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa begins. Much time and effort is placed into carving the individual columns that are being used..
  • 1178 - Construction of the tower is halted with only 3 tiers completed (for obvious angle related reasons). It is determined that the lean is the result of an unsuitable clay foundation.
  • 1272 - Construction resumes.
  • 1278 - Construction is halted again because of political unrest. 7 Tiers are complete.
  • 1298 - The first study is convened to determine the cause of the lean.
  • 1370 - Construction of the Tower of Pisa is completed.
  • 1838 - In a move that nearly resulted in the collapse of the iconic tower, Alessandro Della Gherardesca dug out a walkway at the base of the tower that allowed tourists to look at the intricate base. The workers hit a subterranean water channel, causing water to flood the pathway and nearly topple the tower.
  • 1934 - The attempt to stabilize the tower in 1934 was one of the most disastrous. Mussolini ordered to stabilize the tower as it seemed to be a horrible symbol of national pride. He drilled 361 holes in the base and filled them with 90 tonnes of cement. This did more bad than good as it shattered the base of the tower, but no one dared protest as Mussolini owned the cement factory.
  • 1990 - Engineers decided on a way to stabilize the tower by means of soil extraction in order to coax the tower back to a perpendicular state. It didn't work.
  • 1995 - Engineers anchor the tower to the ground with high tensile steel cable in an attempt to stabilize it. It actually made the tower lean 4 millimeters to the south.
  • 1990 - 2001 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to all tourists after the collapse of the Civic Tower in Pavia- this was a wake up call that alerted Italy to the obvious dangers of the tower. $30 million was invested for stabilizing the building, and though it still maintains the appearance of instability, the tower is more secure than it ever has been before.
  • 2001 - The leaning Tower of Pisa was reopened for tourists and is now safer and more stable than ever. Tourists are able to climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the view of the city. Italy has been blessed with one of the most famous monuments in the world, and it is immediately recognized for its famous history.