The Most Famous Leaning Tower in the World (Part 1)

The building starts to lean more and more with the years or centuries passing, but they will inevitably crash if no serious stabilization measures are taken.This is what happens when some especially tall structures are not set on firm foundations.

This is the fate of most of these 12 leaning towers of the world. From the Big Ben, who leans from its vertical for 0.26 degrees, to the leaning church tower of Suurhusen in Germany (5.19 degrees), find out which buildings in the world stand on shaky grounds:

Big Ben, London, UK

Although it is barely visible to the naked eye, the British Parliament officially declared that its tower-clock (also known as the Big Ben) is leaning by 0.26 degrees (or 43 cm from the axis) to the north-west. The level of the slope has been increasing by 0.9 mm per year since 2003 and it seems that this problem was caused due to underground works of a parking lot and the extension of the subway.

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge_famous leaning tower via Flickr, by iwillbehomesoon, license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Famous Leaning Tower in Suzhou, Tiger Hill Pagoda (Yunyan pagoda), China

China has its own famous leaning tower in Suzhou. The pagoda, named after the hill on which it stands, was built around 960, is tilted about 3 degrees. The 47m tall pagoda is gradually leaning because of the unstable ground beneath it. Stabilization measures, including injecting concrete into the ground helped in stopping its further tilting. However, the axis between the top and bottom of the tower still deviates by 2.32 meters.

via Flickr, by Dorli Photography, license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Two Towers of Bologna, Italy

The main attractions of Bologna are its two leaning towers, built between 1109 and 1119. The taller is called Asinelli, the smaller Garisenda. Asinelli tower is 97m tall, and it has survived several lightning strucks, fires, and the bombing campaign of World War II. Garisenda, which is several times cited in Dante’s La Divina Comedia has been tilting since the 14th century due to the soft ground beneath it.

via Flickr, by taver, license CC BY-ND 2.0

Old Church (Old John) in Delft, The Netherlands

Built in 1246, Old Church (Oude Kerk) is the oldest building in Delft, and its leaning gothic tower was constructed between 1325 and 1350. Locals feared that the tower, probably built over a former channel, would crash and it was almost destroyed in 1843. This church is the burial ground of the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

via Flickr, by Randolph Croft, license CC BY 2.0

Tagged with: Big Ben, , Old Church (Old John) in Delft, The Two Towers of Bologna, Tiger Hill Pagoda, Yunyan pagoda

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