Leaning Tower of Pisa & Galileo Galilei

There are two reasons for Tower of Pisa is so special. First, it has been leaning for over 900 years. Secondly, Galileo Galilei dropped two cannonballs from the top of Pisa tower and proved the theory of gravity in physics.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Tower began to lean when the construction reached about 23m high some when around the year 1178, due to the soft ground could not properly support the structure’s weight. Nevertheless, construction work was continued and the tower was declared “completed” in 1372. By 1990 the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees, and remedial works were performed to stabilize it from1993 to 2001.  The tile was reduced to 3.97 degrees. Engineers estimate that the Tower is currently under control for about the next 200 years.

We went to Pisa from Florence by train and arrived at Pisa about 7:30 AM. We have a habit of being the early birds to avoid the crowds in Italy. Entrance of the tower is limited only 45 people permitted inside the tower at a time in each 30 minute time slot. Ascending its 296 or 294 spiraling steps, we climbed to the top of Tower of Pisa.

Top of the Tower of Pisa
The view from top of Tower of Pisa

After we got out from the tower, the crowds of tourists arrived. I have seldom seen tourists so happy as in Pisa. Everyone, male, female, old or young, from all over the world, devote to save the Learning Tower BY PHOTOS.

Example pictures of stabilizing of Leaning Tower of Pisa

Although science related to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not fun as photography, it is milestone in human history. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is considered the father of modern science. Born in Pisa, Galileo entered the University of Pisa at age 16 to study medicine. It is interesting that he was also a college dropout without finishing his degree.

Galileo Galilei, 1636 portrait by Justus Sustermans, from wikipedia

Between 1589 and 1592, Galileo Galilei dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the top of tower. Even today, many people might assume the heavy ball would reach the ground first. But the truth is they hit the ground almost at the same time. Galileo Galilei made a big discovery here. If there is no air resistance, everything falls to the ground at the same rate regardless of its weight. Gravity accelerates all objects equally, whatever their mass. This is called “Universality of Free Fall” (law of free fall).

“Comparison of the antiquated view and the outcome of the experiment”, from wikipedia

Galileo’s most important discovery was the improvement of the telescope for observing the night sky. His observations are the foundation of our basic understanding of the universe: the sun, encircled by orbiting planets, is at the center, and not the Earth.

In “Angels & Demons”, a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown (also writer of The Da Vinci Code), Harvard symbologist professor Robert Langdon is in Rome to prevent the Vatican from being destroyed by an “antimatter” bomb and rescue four kidnapped Cardinals from an ancient underground society known as the Illuminati. In the book, Illuminati was founded by Galileo, which has dedicated to science and considered the world to be made of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. The fact is that Galileo died in 1642, lived at least a century too early to have joined the Illuminati.

Although “Angels & Demons” is not historical accurate about Illuminati, the book & movie have contributed to the tourism due to their popularity. There was/is Angels and Demons Tour of Rome.

7 thoughts on “Leaning Tower of Pisa & Galileo Galilei

  1. Good for you guys for being early birds and beating the rush. We experienced that last week at the Grand Canyon. We found parking when we arrived, but when we left, people were inventing parking spaces. We were glad we got there early.

    Sounds like you had a great time. Good for you climbing all those steps. Love the holding up the tower pic. And fun history. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Betsy! Maybe it is easier to get up earlier for vacation than for work, haha. And it is certainly worth. Not surprised that crowds of people come to see this incredible natural of Grand Canyon. We had great time for visiting the Leaning Tower. It was a truly fun trip😻

      Liked by 1 person

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