Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

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Added on May 23, 2012

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the low side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the high side. Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons. The tower has 296 steps; Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical. A popular tourist activity is to pose for photographs pretending to "hold up" the leaning tower and preventing it from falling. The illusion is created through the principle of forced perspective.

Channels: World Wonders  

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