3 x 3 x 8"
RETIRED DESIGN SOLD OUT
This miniature artistic interpretation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a hand tied and hand decorated sculpture in wire from the Doodles Destinations series, worthy of display on the most impressive desk, cabinet, or dining table. It is quite sturdy and solid, not really flexible at all.
The Leaning Tower of Pisais the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square.
Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate that has allowed the foundation to shift direction. The tower presently leans to the southwest.
The Tower of Pisa was a work of art, performed in three stages over a period of about 177 years. Construction of the first floor of the white marble campanile began on August 9, 1173, a period of military success and prosperity. This first floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals.
The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the third floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-meter foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Pisans were almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.
In 1272, construction resumed under Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. This made the tower begin to lean in the other direction. Because of this, the tower is actually curved. Construction was halted again in 1284, when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria.
The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was not finally added until 1372. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655.
After a phase (1990-2001) of structural strengthening, the tower is currently undergoing gradual surface restoration. In May 2008, after the removal of another 70 metric tons of earth, engineers announced that the Tower had been stabilized such that it had stopped moving for the first time in its history. They stated it would be stable for at least 200 years.
(some information adapted from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)