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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > January 2016 > How Did They do That?

How Did They do That?

It was a building blunder that became Italy’s engineering marvel
ILLUSTRATION: SOL 90, ALAMY X2, GETTY X2, REX FEATURES X1

THE TOWER OF PISA

Construction on the Tower of Pisa, which began in 1173, had reached only the third storey when architects noticed that the white-marble campanile (bell tower) was leaning. Before serious attempts could be made to correct it, war broke out between the Italian city states so building was halted for over a century. It wouldn’t be until the late-14th century that the tower was finally completed, but nothing had managed to right the lean. Today, following extensive work, the Tower of Pisa is safe from toppling, but it will never stand fully straight – not that the millions of tourists who visit it every year would want it to...

MIRACLES IN MARBLE The Tower of Pisa bell tower is one of four extraordinary buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles)
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The January 2016 issue of History Revealed