If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ve probably heard of the Pisa tower. It was built as a bell tower for the cathedral located nearby and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The tower features a baptistery and bells that produce different tones. What are the best places to see it in person? Here are some suggestions. And don’t forget to take pictures!
It was built as a bell tower for the adjacent cathedral
This magnificent bell tower was built shortly after the construction of the nearby cathedral in 1048. It is 44 meters high, with eight floors inside. It probably served as a lighthouse before being converted into a bell tower. Part of the tower’s base is made of white Istrian stone. A second part consists of darker bricks and a sculpture of a flag that represents the direction of the wind.
The main body of the Tower was constructed in two stages between 1682 and 1689. At its peak, the great belfry supported thirteen bells. The nineteenth century saw the addition of two small bells. The main structure rose four tiers and had three arched openings. Two of the bells were cast in Moscow by Philipp Andreev and his son Gabriel. One of the bells was named the “Swan” for its oblong trumpet sound, and the other was called Polyeleos for an Orthodox liturgical reference. Each weighed between eight and nine tons, and both were pitched to E.
It is a UNESCO world heritage site
If you have ever wondered why a particular site has been named a UNESCO world heritage site, you are not alone. Many other nations are vying to make their national heritage sites even more special by getting listed on the World Heritage List. These countries are hoping to make their assets known and thereby earn more tourism revenue. Once listed, they have the added benefit of establishing their national identity on a global scale.
To become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place is nominated to the International World Heritage Program. In addition to individual sites, the organization also recognizes entire cities that have similar characteristics. Additionally, UNESCO Global Geoparks Network recognizes parks and areas of great geological interest. And the list goes on. Here are some examples of what makes a site a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
It has a circular baptistery
The architecture of Pisa Cathedral and its Baptistery are synonymous. The former is an imposing demonstration of Pisa’s power. After the Genoese destroyed the Pisan fleet in 1284, other northern Italian cities rose to prominence. The Baptistery’s dome was once a conical shape. The interior is remarkably bright, with excellent acoustics. The vergers also sometimes play a miniature melody or strike the organ.
The baptistery is the most spectacular structure in Pisa. A big octagonal font is the focal point of the Pisa Baptistery, designed by the northern Italian artist Guido Bigarelli. The Baptistery’s acoustics are legendary. The guardian intonates every half hour, making the baptistery the perfect setting for a wedding.
It has bells that produce different tones
A chime is a musical instrument with multiple bells. Each bell has a different tone, produced when the clapper strikes the bell’s walls. Various components determine the tone produced by the bell, including its size. The larger the bell, the lower the tone will be. The smaller the bell, the higher the tone will be. Several bell sizes are available from LCS, including the Sportsman Brass Bell, which is one-half inch tall, to the Handmade Sheep Bell, which stands two inches wide and tall. There are also several sizes in between.
The different types of bell sounds are distinguished by their partials. Some campanology texts illustrate these differences by using a musical staff. The hum tone is the lowest partial. The octave above the hum tone is the prime. The prime tone is the most prominent tone produced by a chime. The second partial is the tierce, which is a minor third above the prime. The last tone is the quint, which imparts a glassy effect.
It was a lookout point during World War Two
During World War II, Doon Hill was an important point for the British to watch for enemy ships. At the top of the hill, a gun battery was built to guard against German attacks. Today, an automated Coast Guard beacon sits atop the hill. It was once used for reconnaissance, but now serves as a lookout point for a Coast Guard buoy. The SS Isolda was attacked by German planes on its way to Australia during World War Two, so a lookout point was essential.