Italy’s little known leaning tower at risk of collapsing as warning issued

Scientists have declared that the 900-year-old Garisenda Tower in the Italian city of Bologna is close to collapse. The tower is reported to be leaning four degrees close to the five-degree tilt suffered by the world-famous tower at Pisa.

Officials in Bologna have closed streets surrounding the tower and sensors have been positioned to track any shifting.

The root of the 157ft tower’s lean is believed to be weak foundations that will need shoring up with new materials.

University of Bologna scientists are credited with measuring the tower’s movements which were recorded as a few millimetres.

Vibrations and strange noises were also recorded coming from inside the ancient tower.

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Bologna’s Tourist Board said: “Given the cultural relevance of the Garisenda tower, its hypothetical loss would be tragic, not only tourism-wise but for Bologna and Italy’s history as well.

“Fortunately the signals detected so far do not lead us to believe that the tower may collapse, the situation is under control and a team of experts are taking care of it properly.”

Constructed between 1109 and 1119, Garisenda Tower was financed by one of Bologna’s many rival families.

At one point the Bologna skyline was punctured by as many as 200 towers of various heights.

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The towers were often used as part of the city’s defensive works or to warn of danger.

Many of the city’s towers were demolished during renovation work in the 1920s.

Currently, a small number of the once numerous towers remain dotted around the city.

The Garisenda Tower is one of Bologna’s famous ‘two towers’ the other being the giant Asinelli Tower which is almost 318ft tall.

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