The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry.
The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on the ground too soft on one side to adequately support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the construction was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the inclination partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The height of the tower is 55.86 meters (183.27 feet) on the ground on the low side and 56.67 meters (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).
The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Before restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in) from the center.