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Towers of Bologna

Buildings that challenge gravity with their inclination always cause profound impact, though this peculiarity that makes them famous also can totally destroy them. Pisa has its Leaning Tower and Venice had the San Marcos inclined hasbell – rebuilt after collapsing the original construction in 1902 – Bologna has many inclined medieval towers, one of the most characteristic elements and icons of the city, who have defied earthquakes, bombings and, in general, neglect of man.

The history of these towers is very curious. The most conservative estimations counts about 100 towers crowding the medieval city of Bologna, some of them could even reach 100 meters high. These towers were built for the purpose of demonstrating family lineages’s power; the richer the family lineage, the higher was the tower. As time passes by, the towers were demolished or collapsed and the ones which still stand, were taken for other uses – prisons, homes or shops.

Among the most significant towers that still remain include the towers of Garisenda and Asinelli. Those towers are mentioned by Dante Alighieri, who lived in Bologna, in the Divine Comedy. You can visit Asinelli tower ascending its 500 steps. It has 97.6 meters in height and 3.2 meters inclination while Garisenda tower, which is on its side, is 48 meters high and a lower inclination.

Picture by Onanymous

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