Tower of Pisa Is No Longer The Leaniest

Monday, September 14, 2009


The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy may have finally met its match. For years, the citizens of Bedam, Holland claimed their Tower of Walfridus, in Bedam, Holland, had more tilt. It was shorter, less iconic, and (technically) wasn’t as tilted. All true, until now.

Recently, this Telegraph article explains, after discovering the increasing lean of Pisa’s Tower, the Italian government decided to restore the building, reducing the lean by 18 inches, which moves it into second place for the title of Europe’s most tilted. Wait, was that a collective “yippee” we heard from the town of Bedam? After all the talk, their church tower is (technically) more tilted.

What is this technicality? Well, Pisa’s tower stands at 180 feet tall and has a “new” tilt of 11 feet 6 inches (formerly 13 feet), while Bedam’s is only 120 feet tall, and leans 8 feet 6 inches. It would seem that Pisa should still have the crown, but no. A geometrician crunched the numbers (thanks for that one, I wasn’t about to grab the calculator) and found out that if the two towers were the same height, the Tower of Walfridus would be more pronounced. 

Perhaps the real dilemma facing people is whether to be photographed pushing the tower over, or holding it up?  Hint- there’s no right answer.

Photo by bjcarter (he chose to hold up the tower)

By Jon Wick


About the Author

Jon lives in Butte, Montana, spending most of his time on skis or bikes; sometimes both. He began travel writing while teaching in Korea and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Technical Communication at Montana Tech. Jon has begun writing his first book, The Story of Will, whose movie rights are still (very) available. Catch more of Jon at (@ExpedJon)

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