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10 Towers That Started Straight But Tilted Over Time

(Source: Mental Floss)

Towers were initially built to protect the surrounding areas and as time passed, new towers like bell towers, clock towers, communication towers, minarets were built. These towers have withstood the sands of time but they are not exactly in the condition they were when they were built. Over time, due to poor construction planning or natural disasters, these towers started to tilt and even added to their beauty.

We will take a look at 10 such examples.

1. Leaning Tower of Torun, Poland.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)


This tower was built in the 13th century as a part of the city walls. It was originally straight but the instability of the ground caused it to tilt 4.8 feet towards the side of the street. In the 18th century, the tower was used as a prison for women and later on, for accommodation purposes.

2. Oberkirche of Bad Frankenhausen, Germany.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The leaning tower of Oberkirche church in Bad Frankenhausen is one of the famous landmarks of the town. It was originally built in 1382 by the members of Christain Salter’s Guild and the tower started leaning by 17th century because of sinkholes in the surrounding area. The tower has already tilted 4.6 meters from the line and is leaning by 2.4 inches annually.

3. The Two Towers of Bologna, Italy.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

Asinelli and Garisenda, the Two Towers of Bologna are among the few medieval towers left in the city built by the two competing families as status symbols. Both the towers were originally of the same height but Garisenda had to be shortened due to its dangerous lean resulting from an unstable foundation. Both of the towers are tilted now with Asinelli having a tilt of 1.37 degrees and Garisenda with a 3.8 degrees tilt.

4. Big Ben, UK.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The Big Ben is commonly known for having one of the most accurate 4 faced clocks in the world but engineers discovered in 2011 that the tower was tilting 1.5 feet away from the original position as a result of decades of underground excavation. The tilt is expected to get worse but it will take the tower 4,000 years to slant completely if it keeps going at the current rate.

5. Leaning Tower of Nevyansk, Russia.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The tower was built in the 18th century by the Demidov family. Everything other than that is a complete mystery. Even the exact construction date is unknown. The tower leans 7 feet from the vertical and nobody knows why. The tower also houses a square room where you can whisper to another person by standing in one corner of the room.

6. Leaning Tower of Suurhusen, Germany.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

This is known as the most tilted tower of the world. The church is standing on oak tree trunks and started to lean in the 19th century when the groundwater preserving these trunks was drained out. The 90 ft tower leans at an angle of 5.19 degrees and was closed in 1975 for safety reasons but was opened once again only ten years later.

7. Temple Church, UK.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

Bristol’s Temple Church was built on the site of a previous church of the Knights Templar. The church is leaning 5 feet off the vertical and it is believed that the soft alluvial clay underneath the structure got compressed. The building was damaged beyond repair in the second world war and is now under the care of English Heritage.

8. Albert Memorial Clock Tower, Northern Ireland.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The 113 ft tower was completed in 1869 in Queen’s Square, Belfast. The tower leaned immediately after it was built as it used a wooden foundation on the muddy ground. The lean got worse with time and is now 4 feet away from the center.

9. Leaning Temple of Huma, India.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The temple is located in Orissa, India and is dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva. The temple was built in the 17th century and the reason for the tilt is unknown.

10. Huqiu Tower, China.

(Source: Interesting Engineering)

The 157 ft tall tower was built between 959-961 on Tiger Hill in Suzhou, China. The tower started its lean in the 17th century and is now tilted by over 7.5 feet due to the foundation it was built on. It was built partly on rock and partly on soil. Two of the supporting columns developed cracks while carrying the 7,000-ton tower.

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