All Towers in Tuscany

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    Leaning Tower of Pisa

    The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre Pendente) is a tower located in the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, in Pisa. The tower is actually the bell-tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, located nearby. The monument, one of the most recognizable symbols of Italy, is famous around the world due to its unintended tilt. The tilt was caused by an inadequate foundation on a ground too soft to properly support the structure’s weight.   SHORT HISTORY The building of the tower began on August 9, 1173. Some recent studies attribute the project to the Pisan architect Diotisalvi, who at the time was also building the Baptistery of San Giovanni. The first phase of the works was interrupted in the middle of the third floor, due to the subsidence of the land on which the bell-tower was built. The softness of the soil, made up of soft clay, is the cause of the tower’s tilt and, although to a lesser extent, of all the buildings in the square. The works were resumed in 1275 under the guidance of Giovanni di Simone and Giovanni Pisano, who added another three floors to the previous structure. In an attempt to straighten the tower, the Read more [...]

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    Torre Guelfa

    Torre Guelfa (Guelph Tower) is a tower in Pisa, located on Lungarno Ranieri Simonelli, near the Old Citadel (Cittadella Vecchia) and Ponte della Cittadella.   SHORT HISTORY On this area, during medieval times, it was the Republican Arsenal, where the ships of the Marine Republic of Pisa were built, ships that contributed to the city’s rise as a Mediterranean power. At the beginning of the 15th century, the shipyard was enlarged and transformed to what will be later known as the Old Citadel, in opposition to the New Citadel (Cittadella Nuova), built in 1440 on the other side of the city. Around the same time, Torre Guelfa was built. The name of the tower was chosen in contrast to the older Ghibelline Tower (Torre Ghibellina), erected in 1290 and later destroyed. The Guelph Tower, together with the Sant’Agnese Tower (Torre di Sant’Agnese), the Canto Tower (Torre del Canto) and the Ghibelline Tower, delimited the ancient area of Terzanaia, where republican galleys were built and repaired. In 1944, during the Second World War, the whole area was badly damaged by bombing, and the citadel along with the Guelph Tower were completely destroyed, with the exception of the Republican Arsenal. In 1956, Read more [...]