The Leaning Tower of Pisa will not be the Falling Tower of Pisa anytime soon, thanks to a team of engineers who have been working on stabilizing the iconic structure.
For the next 300 years or so, the Tower will be secure. So says Professor Michele Jamiolkowski, an engineer and geologist who worked on the project. This is a welcome reversal from the end of the 20th century, when the tower's lean was increasing at an alarming rate, and the future of the popular tourist spot was in doubt. In fact, for about 12 years, starting in 1990, visitors weren't allowed inside the tower while engineers worked to fix the problem.
Construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173. Workers noticed the structure was leaning as early as 1274, when the third story was being built (before this, it was known simply as The Tower of Pisa). It seems the tower was doomed because it was too tall, with too shallow a foundation, in too soft a ground. It was destined to lean.
Over the centuries, various strategies have been implemented to keep it upright. Soil has been removed from underneath the north side, support cables have been used, cement has been injected. Thanks to the more recent rescue efforts, the tower is now safe and stable (which is more than can be said for this replica). Yes, it's a happy day for the millions of visitors who flock to see the quirky architectural marvel. Now we know that for the next 300 years tourists can go to Pisa and take a photo where it looks like they're holding the tower up with their hands.