Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Piece of Pisa To Go!

Pisa is most famous for its leaning tower but I just discovered that the tower has been around since 1173. Talk about old. In those days Pisa was an important and rich trade city. A city where 2 rivers met and many people from all over Europe came to do business. The structure was built as a bell tower and as a show of its wealth and power. Plus, if you ask me, it makes a great lookout as Pisa was always getting attacked and at war. It started to sink before it was even finished for two reasons. 1) It was built on shifty unstable soil and 2) the foundation was only 3 meters. They finished it anyways, leaning and all. I remember when they closed the tower to the public in 1990 in order to stabilize and save it. I watched a documentary on how architects and scientists from all over the world were scratching their heads and coming up with theories. It took them 10 years but they did it and as of 2001 the tower is now open again to the public. I remember that day too. So when we were there, people were happily climbing to the top but in order to do that you have to pay and make a reservation that may have a month waiting list but its guaranteed safe now, so they say, but only for the next 300 years. In this photo we resisted the temptation to do the typical 'holding up the tower' photo and instead went for something more cute. The day was also very grey and the grey marble of the tower and church blended into the dreary sky.

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