Its fame and power grew gradually over the years, as the people of Pisa were involved in various military conflicts and trade agreements.
The Pisans attacked the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily in 1063. The attack was successful and the conquerors returned to Pisa with a great deal of treasure. To show the world just how important the city was, the people of Pisa decided to build a great cathedral complex, the Field of Miracles. The plan included a cathedral, a baptistery, a bell tower (the Tower of Pisa) and a cemetery.
The leaning of the Tower of Pisa comes into the story in 1173, when construction began. Thanks to the soft ground, it had begun to lean by the time its builders got to the third story, in 1178. Shifting soil had destabilized the tower’s foundations. Over the next 800 years, it became clear the 55-metre tower wasn’t just learning but was actually falling at a rate of one to two millimeters per year. The real identity of Tower of Pisa’s architects is a mystery. The most accredited architects of this first phase of work are Bonanno Pisano and Gherardo din Gherardo.
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