When you mention the name, Pisa, you immediately think of the Leaning Tower. So, it did not take us long to head there on our first day. We returned on our second day and the morning of our 4th day. Seeing it from different angles and in different light never ceased to enthrall us. But, this area is so much more than just the Leaning Tower.
Views of the Field of Miracles
Below are some shots of the statuary and walkway stonework on the site.
The Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) is an 8.87 hectare area located in Pisa and is deemed to be an important center of Medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world.
It is owned by the Catholic Church and is considered to be a sacred site. There are six buildings on the site, but, three of the main buildings are:
#1 Pisa Catheral (Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta; Duomo di Pisa). Constructed from 1063-1092, it is built in the Pisan Romanesque style.
I will have another post, later, on the interior, but for now, here are the photos of the exterior and a few detail shots.
#2 The Pisa Baptistry of Saint John stands opposite the West end of the Cathedral. Construction began in 1153 to replace an older baptistry. It was completed in 1363. It is the largest baptistry in Italy, with a diameter of 34.13 meters and a height of 54.86 meters.
Here are the photos and detail shots of the Baptistry
#3 The Campanile or Leaning Tower of Pisa. Construction began in 1173 and took 177 years to complete in three stages, with the bell chamber added in 1372. Five years after construction began, the South side of the tower began to sink into the weak subsoil. The tower was left for a century to stabilize the soil. In 1272, when construction restarted, the new floors were built with one side taller than the other, to compensate for the lean. At completion, the lean was 1 degree or 80 cm. Prior to 1990, the greatest lean angle was measured at 5.5 degrees and in 2010, the lean was reduced to about 4 degrees.
The height of the low side is 55.86 m and on the high side it is 56.67. The walls are 2.44 m thick and the weight of the tower is estimated at 14,500 metric tons. There are 296 steps leading to the top of the tower. 7 bells are housed at the top, all cast to the musical scale. Their weights are 3,620, 2,462, 1,448, 1,014, 1,000, 652 and 300 kg.
We did not climb to the top. After all, we had 73 steps to get up to our apartment and there are only so many steps in a day. But, we did take a lot of photos.
There were the serious photos….
…and the not so serious photos.
We did return at sun down on our second day and the whole site was spectacular under the soft evening light.