In Bologna, both of its renowned 12th Century towers, reminiscent of Pisa’s famous leaning structure, face critical conditions. The Garisenda Tower, tilting at a notable four-degree angle and standing at 47m, has been sealed off amid escalating fears of an imminent collapse.
Authorities are constructing a 5metre high barrier around the tower to contain potential debris in the event of a fall.
The situation has prompted the city council to label it “highly critical,” necessitating urgent measures to ensure public safety and preserve the historical landmark. Monitoring has detected shifts in the tower’s tilt, intensifying concerns about its stability. This development follows the closure of the site in October. Then sensors identified changes in the tower’s inclination, coupled with inspections revealing material deterioration at its base.
The city council has initiated a civil protection plan aimed at safeguarding the Garisenda Tower. The ongoing construction of the barrier represents the initial phase of efforts to secure the structure. The barrier, costing €4.3 million, serves the dual purpose of containing debris and protecting nearby buildings and individuals in the event of a collapse. Additionally, metal rockfall nets will be installed around the tower.
Read: Italy’s Leaning Towers
The restoration project is a formidable undertaking. It has prompted the city to launch a crowdfunding campaign to finance the comprehensive restoration work. The council estimates the closure of the tower and the surrounding plaza for several years.
The entire initiative is an “extraordinary challenge” that calls for commitment not only from the city but from global enthusiasts. The city council emphasises the need for collective efforts to overcome this challenge and ensure the enduring legacy of these iconic structures.