How Engineers Stopped the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Falling - a Story that will Make You Wonder

04 Jun 2024

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, known for its tilt, is not going to fall anytime soon. Experts predict that thanks to a successful restoration project, it will stand for at least another 200 years, and possibly forever.

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From the very beginning of its construction in 1174 on unstable ground, the tower began to lean southward. This tilt affected its structure: the architects, attempting to "compensate" for the lean, built the upper floors with a tilt in the opposite direction, giving the tower its characteristic banana-like shape.

Over the centuries, careless construction projects only worsened the situation, and by 1990, the tower's tilt had reached a critical angle of 5.5 degrees. According to calculations, it was supposed to collapse at 5.44 degrees. However, fortunately, the predictions of the computer model did not come true, and engineers developed a reconstruction plan.

Restoration work carried out from 1999 to 2001 stabilized the tower. Engineers placed counterweights on the north side and partially removed the soil underneath, causing the tower to return to a more vertical position slowly. Now, the tilt of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is only 3.99 degrees. Even in the event of strong earthquakes or other unforeseen catastrophes, engineers are confident that it will withstand and remain standing for at least several centuries.