Cher’s Famous Art
25 May 2020
“Leaning Tower of Pisa”
1173-1350, Pisa, Italy, Romanesque architecture
After time in Spain and France on this [cancelled] trip was Italy. Having been to Pisa before, I sought a new experience. This time, arriving by sea and not by land, I wanted to pretend to be a medieval seafarer and view the baptistery roof as medieval travelers once did!
Did you know…that the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” is not the only significant building on the site??! In fact, the bell tower (or Campanile) is just one part of a whole Pisa complex which also includes a huge Duomo (cathedral), separate Baptistery, and impressive Camposanto (cemetery). The tower began to lean even before it was finished due to sandy silt subsoil, defying the laws of gravity for centuries and with millions of visitors climbing its worn and “leaning” marble stairs to the top before it was stabilized during the end of the 20th century and a brief period of No Visitors.
Besides its famous “lean,” it is a beautiful architectural structure that from the bottom up looks like a fancy tiered wedding cake! (A climb to the top is essential everyone visiting Pisa!) The view is not only magnificent, but also intriguing depending on which side of the “lean” one is looking down!
Pisa was one of the ports on our [cancelled, sigh] Mediterranean cruise and I was excited to approach the complex from the Mediterranean Sea. (Take a look to the lower left on the aerial photo of the complex to the building with the round dome: the Baptistery. Notice that the roof is ½ red tiles (finished) and the other ½ is gray (unfinished)? The story is told that the builders ran out of funds and that only ½ could be completed. They only finished the side that faced the sea so as it impress those coming into the city by ship—as we would be doing this time!
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