December 15 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens

When Fat Joe told everyone to "Lean Back", I don't think he had this in mind. After 11 years of construction and nearly $27 million, Italy's "Leaning Tower of Pisa" reopened to the public and still had its famous lean in tact. The construction was needed as the tower had to be restored to a safer angle. When Pisa reopened to the public, the monument leaned at an angle of 3.99 degrees (it leaned at 5.5 degrees prior to the restoration).

Construction of the original tower began in 1173, and spanned 177 years. The tower began to sink in 1178 when the workers progressed to the third floor. The reason it sank was primarily due to a weak foundation of subsoil, which many believed was a flawed design from the beginning. The construction workers caught a break when progress was halted for nearly a century due to battles between the Republic of Pisa and neighboring provinces. The time off allowed for the underlying soil to settle, as the tower would have certainly toppled had they continued to work.

The highest point of the Tower stands at 186.02ft, and it's weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons.




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