PISA – GENNAIO 2012

Foto dal Mondo » Martedì, 27 Marzo 2012


The Campanile of Pisa, from 1173
began to sink when adding its third floor
The slight foundation, soft subsoil and weight of masonry
prevented building safely any more. 

Of core support the base design was critically flawed 
but Pisa was engaged in constant war.
Construction there was halted as the town could ill afford,
for a century, to finance any more.

Around 1272 some further building was resumed
and efforts made to compensate the tilt  
with floors built one side taller than the other. They assumed
no movement from the underlying silt.

This only made the building start to lean the other way 
and because of this, the tower is slightly curved.
1284 in battle with Genoa they lost the day
and further work was once again reserved.

The seventh floor was not completed till 1319,
the belfry added 1372
but, since no work was done to fix the fundamental lean,
the structure stayed remarkably askew.

Although it had this tilt on, for the next 600 years,
in spite of added bells, it seemed quite staid.
Of any further leaning or collapsing, it appears
at that time, no-one thought to be afraid. 


But, 1964, the Government requested aid
to save the tower “from toppling any more;
preserving though, its current tilt which we believe has made, 
for Pisa, an important tourist draw.”

A multinational force of engineers met in Azores
to argue various stabilizing schemes.
I bet that convocation of extremely crashing bores
produced, on paper, diagrams by reams!

Their ultimate solution was to dig ten tons of soil
from underneath the base floor’s higher end,
thus levelling it slightly, with a huge amount of toil, 
back to the angle of its former bend.

In 1987 the UNESCO was disposed
to have it as World Heritage declared
but, after further decades of restructuring, it closed
when meddling OSH officials interfered

'Twas not until 2001 they opened it again, 
having ‘straightened up’ the tower as it appears,
by digging out a few more tons of earth and now they claim
that it’s stable for at least two hundred years!

So, if you want to climb the Tower of Pisa, there’s no hurry
if you go within two centuries…..after that, I’d start to worry!