When was the leaning tower of Pisa built and finished?

The unmistakable Leaning Tower of Pisa attracts visitors in their thousands every year, inspiring awe with its curious, unique shape.

But when was this architectural wonder actually built?

The 187-foot bell tower is more than 800 years old! Constructing such a large tower back then was a slow and laborious process, meaning it was only in 1372—over 200 years later—that the tower was officially finished!

It turns out this tower inspires many other questions from visitors, so we’ve done the research for you and answered your most common questions below:

Why is the Tower leaning?

Many people don’t know that the tower’s lean was not actually intentional! After construction began, the ground underneath softened, meaning it could not properly support the heavy structure. Stabilizing work since has reduced what used to be a 5.5-degree tilt to just 3.97 degrees.

What is the Leaning Tower of Pisa used for?

Unlike many towers built in its time, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was never used to defend the city. It is part of the religious complex in the Duomo Square and acts as its bell tower for the nearby Cathedral church. The Tower has 7 bells, each with a different tone. However, the bells are no longer operational due to fears that they could pose a danger to the public if the tower collapsed.

Who designed the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Due to the sheer length of time it took to build the tower, numerous architects are credited with being involved in its construction. The most notable figures involved in the first phase of work were Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo din Gherardo. Work in the second phase was mostly done by Giovanni di Simone. The final architect was Tommaso Pisano (1350-1372).

Can I climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Leaning Tower Pisa Italy

Yes! A ticket to enter the Tower costs about 19 euros per person and can be purchased on site or in advance. A person of average fitness will find the incline fine—it takes about 30 minutes to climb at a leisurely pace up the 251 steps. You’ll feel the tilt as you walk up, which can be slightly unnerving, but it is certainly worthwhile. From the top, you will be able to see the bells and enjoy the fantastic views of Pisa. Look over the lush green lawns and elegant Duomo and gaze across the red-roofed city buildings to the hills and countryside beyond.

Can I take a tour of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Yes, you can! There are plenty of tours available that take you up to climb the tower and learn more about its fascinating history through a local, knowledgeable tour guide. If you’d prefer to just check it out from the bottom and focus on exploring the city instead,our half-day Pisa tour from Florence might be perfect for you!

Related article: How to Spend a Day in Pisa

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