By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (August 9, 2022) – In Issue 2022-139 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we learn about  a famous lean and the engineering flaw that caused it.


The work on the foundations was started on this 55.9 meter (183.4 feet) tower on August 9, 1173.

The civil engineering was flawed from the beginning with only 10 feet of foundation on soft soil bed.  It was a good thing that construction was halted for over a century due to wars with neighboring city states, thus allowing some compaction of the soil underneath. 

The tower was completed 199 years after construction started.

And yes, it did lean from the beginning.  Most recent repairs reduced the lean from 5.5 to 4.0 degrees.

We are talking about the leaning tower of Pisa, as you may have guessed by now.

Wondering if the tower would attract the flocks of tourists that it does, if it wasn’t leaning. 

Here is a map of Italy by Elwe from 1792.

Italy – 1792 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.