Old vs. New: The Tower of Pisa & The Capital Gate

People admire architecture that makes a statement: a unique design, unexpected location or controversial element always makes waves. Sometimes, an error or afterthought can add to a landmark’s historical legacy. As a point of contrast, consider two notable examples: the Tower of Pisa and the Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi.

The Tower of Pisa

The campanile or bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa is one of the oldest landmarks in Italy and a genuine work of art. Soon after its construction in 1173, engineers were baffled to see the tower’s foundation shift in direction.

Image by B a m s h a d

The tower is 55.8 m (183.2 ft) tall on the lowest side and 56.7 m (186 ft) on the highest side. It has 294 steps and prior to restoration work between 1990 and 2001, had an incline of 5.5 degrees. After the work, the tower now leans at a much more manageable 3.99 degrees.

Image by McPig

Ever since construction in the 12th century, the bell tower continued a slow, gradual shift. In 2008, a team of structural engineers announced the successful removal of 77 tons of earth in order to stabilize the Pisa icon. As a result, the UNESCO World Heritage Site should hold steady for another two centuries.

Image by emutree

Image by B a s h m a d

Capital Gate

A massive ongoing facelift and construction boom has kept the United Arab Emirates in the international spotlight for well over a decade now. Artificial islands, record-high towers and many other wonders have made Abu Dhabi and Dubai popular destinations for expat workers and tourists alike.

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The Capital Gate is a 160 m-high (520 ft) tower that features a dramatic 18 degree lean to the west. The Abu Dhabi landmark has an inclination four and a half times higher than the Tower of Pisa. A special “pre-cambered core” method maintains the structural integrity of 15,000 cubic meters of concrete and 10,000 tons of steel.

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Work on the Capital Gate should wind down by the end of 2010. If you plan to visit the UAE in 2001 and need a hotel in Abu Dhabi, keep the Capital Gate in mind. The tower will host a hotel, office space and much more.

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4 Comments for "Old vs. New: The Tower of Pisa & The Capital Gate"

wilson joseph says on July 15th, 2010 at 8:41 am:


aksh says on August 23rd, 2010 at 2:17 am:


Bala says on September 27th, 2010 at 1:23 pm:

Wonderfull structure,I am very happy to see this.Our uae going to touch the heaven.My best wishes forever,,,,


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