Greetings From… Pisa, Italy

leaning tower of pisa, piazza del duomo, pisa, italy, italia, UNESCO

Duomo and Torre Pendente - Pisa, Italy

The Italian city of Pisa is known the world over for its famous “Leaning Tower.” In fact, it’s probably one of the most recognizable structures anywhere.  What many people don’t realize is that it’s actually only part of a larger complex that includes three other beautiful and interesting sights. Set in the park-like Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), the Torre Pendente is the freestanding bell tower for the city’s cathedral, known as the Duomo. Construction on the spectacular white and gray marble Duomo was begun in 1064, over a century before the tower was even started. Unfortunately, due to poor foundations, the infamous tower began leaning to the side within five years of construction. Engineers tried to compensate for the tilt by building the upper levels with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is actually slightly curved. On the opposite side of the Duomo is the Baptistery, the largest in all of Italy, with architectural elements of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Finally, adjacent to these buildings is the Camposanto, a cemetery where the nobility of Pisa were buried centuries ago. Interestingly, the earth used in the Camposanto was brought over from the Holy Land by the shipload during the Crusades. The entire Campo dei Miracoli (also known as Piazza del Duomo) is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its beauty and historical value.

 

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