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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pisa: The Square Of Miracles


Think of Pisa and what comes to mind is probably its leaning tower. This tower is located in The Square Of Miracles which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.  This enormous square is surrounded by walls and features four majestic and astonishing edifices constructed with very impressive and amazing architecture. The Leaning Tower of Pisa may not be the most beautiful but it certainly is the most famous among the four.  In fact it is world renowned.
The Leaning Tower Of Pisa is actually the bell tower of Pisa Cathedral which is one of the four edifices mentioned earlier. Its construction started in 1173 and though just behind the cathedral, it stands isolated on its own.
Indeed there is a significant tilt.
Fun Photography: Let's see whether I can push it back in place. 
The tilting is very obvious in this photo. The truth is the inclination wasn't intended as it was caused as a result of inadequate foundation on the ground which was too soft on one side to support the structure's weight. It was leaning at 5.5°from the vertical in 1990 but the leaning was reduced to 4° in 2010. The Italian government tried to rectify the error but gave up after many trials. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise as it is this inclination that has made the tower so famous.
Because it tilts to the south, you can't notice the inclination if you stand directly south or north to it as in this photo.
This is the 8th and the topmost floor of the tower which stands at 55.86 metres high. There are 264 steps to reach this highest floor and there are 7 bells inside the tower.
Must be a tedious climb but these people made it to the top.
This is Pisa Cathedral. It is more beautiful but unfortunately lesser known than The Leaning Tower.
This cathedral was constructed in 1064 and  its fa├žade is made of grey marble and white stone set with disc of coloured marbles. Highlighted below are the intricate details of its structures.







What can I say but Wow and Wow and Wow again!




The next gorgeous edifice is St John's Baptistry which is also the largest baptistry in Italy. This is where baptism was conducted.


The Baptistry was constructed in 1153.


On the rooftop of the Baptistry stands the statue of St John. the Baptist.


The details of The Baptistry.

A door of The Baptistry
The last edifice fades in comparison to the first three. The Monumental Cemetery is an ancient graveyard constructed in 1277.
The cemetery is a rectangular structure with high walls.
You can see all three edifices in this photo.
There are other buildings within the square. These are very old houses, some of which have been turned into museums. 
The Square of Miracles is a happening place. Tourists thronged the place by the thousands.
There are restaurants and cafes in the vicinity.
This eatery facing the square sells ice-cream which is displayed in a beautiful cart.
There are a number of souvenir stalls.
Some of the souvenirs are made in Italy but beware, most are made in China.
The area outside the Square of Miracles is robust with commercial activities. Souvenir stalls, cafes and restaurants line the road leading to the car park.
Most of the souvenir stalls are tended by foreigners. (Bangladeshis, Africans, Pakistanis, etc)









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