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The Tower of Pisa leans sideways because it was built on unstable soil. In 1173 construction started on the 180-foot bell tower, which is located in Pisa, a small town in the Italian province of Tuscany. The building began to lean as soon as the first three floors were completed. Nevertheless, building continued and the seven-story structure was finished between 1360 and 1370. The tower leans a little bit more each year and was closed for repairs in 1990, when it was leaning fourteen and one-half feet to one side. Engineers worked to stabilize the foundation, straightening the tower only slightly to help prevent irreparable damage without taking away the uniqueness of the structure. The tower's characteristic angle has attracted thousands of visitors to Pisa throughout the ages.
Further Information: Clark, Mary Beth. Leaning Tower of Pisa: The Inside Story. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press; Chicago: Distributed by Children's Press, 1991; Cooper, Lane. Aristotle, Galileo, and the Tower of Pisa. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1972; Tower of Pisa. [Online] Available http://torre.duomo. pisa.it/index_eng.html, October 23, 2000; Tower of Pisa. [Online] Available http://www.pisaonline.it/pisa/town/pagine/torre2.htm, October 23, 2000; Tower of Pisa. [Online] Available http://www.didyouknow.com/pisa.htm, October 23, 2000.
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