The Overlooked Leaning Tower Of Zaragoza

Samuel Reason | May 2nd, 2018

You may be surprised to learn that the leaning tower of Pisa once had a brother or a sister, whichever it may be, and it was even taller. The Leaning Tower of Zaragoza in Spain was around 100 ft taller than the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. It was located in Plaza de San Felipe, in Zaragoza and quickly became a tourism icon for the city.

Not only was it leaning, it was the highest Mudejar style tower ever to be built. Constructed during the 16 century to be a clock tower, it was designed by Christians and Muslims making it a beacon of multiculturalism of its time. As soon as it was built an incline was noticeably, but they decided that it posed no risks. The tower itself was built when Catholic Monarchs were ruling Spain in 1504, decorated with many religious and geometric figures. It came together with a triple spire top and had many pointed arches.

The lean is thought to have happened due to the haste to finish the foundation’s construction, it is noted that the southern part of the tower’s foundation was forged much quicker than the northern part. The difference in tension from both sides would have caused the tower to incline, an attempt was made to reinforce the foundation but overall it did not fix the lean. It is worth noting the deviation was nearly a full three meters.

When the French lay siege to Zaragoza during 1808 to 1809 the tower held an immense strategic position and was used to monitor troop movements, leading to the tower become a symbol of hope for the city. Most of Europe considered it to be the most famous of leaning towers, it was heavily reproduced in artwork by artists like Charles Clifford or J. Laurent.

Why is it overlooked then? Unfortunately, in 1892 the city council elected for its demolition, the reason being that it was impossible to fix the leaning and it would eventually topple down naturally. The decision was not very popular, many citizens bought bricks to hold a memory of their cherished symbol.

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