The leaning tower of Pisa is not famous for the reasons the designers and artists originally planned, but nevertheless, the world celebrates differences as much as it does similarities and that is the main reason it still stands and is so much heralded. Perhaps, with it’s unevenness, it is a favorite of many people. Those outstretched hand photos of people gathered around it in effigy of supporting it might be what is best about the people of the world-they pick something they love, because of its faults, and focus their love and attention on it. Because of it’s supporters, real or feigned, it stands today.
It’s construction began in 1173, as a bell tower for the cathedral in Pisa, between the Sarno and Serchio rivers in Tuscany, which is in the central region of Italy. But, it was slowly built, and designed to have eight elegant stories. For this reason, before the work was even halfway finished five years later, the existing levels (three) began to sink at an angle. Like a flower, it leaned toward the sea and the South, its dense mixture of soil, sand, and sea shells, were perhaps trying to get back home, feeling they were out of place. As history would have it, other trials and tribulations, such as wars, broke out, between Pisa and Genoa, and the final construction was halted nearly a century longer! Oddly, this long wait to be finished finalized the subsidence, and the tower quit tilting. It is thought that as a result of this delay, the premature collapse of the tower was halted, and it found its permanent home, and permanent tilt position. Stories added on did not result in further sinking.
The addition of further masonry, added later, caused the tower to lilt once more. Actually (or officially) completed in 1370, it continued to decide on its eventual position and further tilt for another six centuries. This became the structure’s most lasting and appealing quirk. Despite it’s and it’s designer’s determination for it to remain standing, and continued attempts to reinforce it, it declined about 0.05 inches each year, virtually threatening to collapse on itself. In 1990 it was leaning 5.5 degrees (about 15 feet) from its center. By vacuuming earth from underneath it and using a counterweight on it’s north side, the lean was able to be reduced about 1.5 feet. It’s continued orthopedic balance is sought, year after year, in efforts to slowly balance it, and the closed tower was re-opened in 2001, after sensors showed the subsidence had stopped, and for a total reverse in leaning of about 19 inches. It’s lovers and engineers now believe it will remain standing, and enterable, for at least another 200 years, barring more variables.
LOVE is often a lot of work, but never give up on your dreams-our tilt can be improved forever, with applications, counterweights, and universal support! But none of us would be very special or unique without our differences. Humans are NEVER perfect, but all of us can be loved with our flaws! Great dancers are usually revered for their unique ways of doing things-differently. Relax and Keep on Dancing!
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