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The Leaning Bell Tower of Pisa.
The first thing you notice is how
much it is leaning. Even though
you have seen pictures it is still
surprising when you see it.
The tower was built to be the bell
tower of the Cathedral of Pisa
(right)
. The Tower and Cathedral
are part of the Piazza del Duomo.
The tower leans because the
foundation is inadequate and the
subsoil is unstable on one side.
Construction began in 1173 and
halted twice. Completed in 1319.
.
The enormous Cathedral of Pisa.
Founded in 1064 built from
money from the pillage of
Palermo. It was completed in
1118.
The third structure in the Piazza
is the Baptistery begun in 1163.
For some reason the west side of
the dome is roofed in lead slabs
(the other side has red tiles).
The roof of the cathedral on the
inside is an impressive wood
gilded structure.
Above the altar is a mosaic
called Christ in his Majesty
completed in 1302.
The view of the east side of the
Baptistery and the rest of the
Piazza del Duomo. This side has
the red tiles
.
The nave is flanked by two rows
of monolithic columns made
from marble from the isle of Elba.
The interior of the Cathedral is
striking and far more impressive
than the one in Florence. Much
of the original interior was
destroyed in a fire in 1595.
The interior of the Bell tower.
The tower is 183 feet tall on the
low side and 186 feet on the
high side. The top is displaced
about 12 ft
.
The World is crooked! After
staying in the tower for awhile
you feel like you our on a flat
surface until you look out the
door.
The walkway at the top of the
bell tower
.
After 295 steps I arrive at the top
and look down on the Piazza
below
.
The mountains in the distance as
seen from atop the tower
.
The rooftops of Pisa from the
tower
. It looks like all of the
buildings use the same style of
roofing tile.
The open top of the tower has 7
bells - one for each musical
note
.
The new City Walls erected in
1156 at the height of Pisa's
power.
The interior of the Baptistery. It is
the largest in Italy. It has an
arcade of pillars and a women's
gallery on a second floor.
A framed view of the Cathedral
from the Baptistery showing the
famous tiers of pillars on the
facade.
The Piazza is full of tourists
doing the "push over the tower"
photo opportunity
.
The river Arno passes through
Pisa shortly after emptying into
the sea.
Santa Maria della Spina a small,
Gothic church erected in 1230.
The name Spina (thorn) derives
from a thorn purported to be from
Christ's Crown of thorns, brought
here in 1333.
.
The main street connected the
Piazza del Duomo and the train
station across town is a
pedestrian gallery
.