December 15 ~  Leaning Tilt: Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa

"To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings." ~ Mary Baker Eddy

Mistakes That Worked

A blessing and architectural marvel, built on shifting, sandy silt, is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, La Torre Pendentes. Italy's most famous cathedral bell tower is 58-meters (189-feet) tall and was built during the years 1174 to 1350.

The tower was constructed as a display of wealth and power in medieval times. Legend has it that Galileo Galilei climbed to the top to conduct his experiments on the velocity of falling objects.

Located on the Piazza dei Miracoli and constructed of steel, concrete, and white marble, the tower began leaning almost immediately.

"When you come in through the West Gate and see this glistening white structure looming over the Cathedral with its lovely symmetry, it is beautiful... breathtaking," said engineer John Burland.

In recent years, the 10° tilt continued to increase daily, threatening to collapse, until the Italian government closed the landmark in 1989.

With the help of many engineers and scientists, a $24 million restoration project stabilized the structure and reduced the lean by 15 inches. The tower was reopened on this day in 2001--preserved for the ages as a passionate celebration of imagination and culture.

About the Leaning Tower of Pisa, writer Richard Covington observed, "If this masterpiece of hubris in stone can blithely defy gravity and subvert the laws of physics, then there's hope yet for folly, romance and all the other enigmas that don't quite add up. That is what truly draws four million visitors to the piazza—the summons to witness a persistent miracle."

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