architecture 10 Famous Buildings That Are Leaning (And Aren’t In Pisa)  

Katherine Aul
1.1k views 10 items Embed

Everyone's heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but what many don't realize is that there are tons of other famous leaning buildings all over the world - some even more tilted than Pisa's. This list highlights some of the world's most famous unintentionally leaning structures - from ancient Chinese pagodas to 21st-century skyscrapers. You might be surprised to learn what man-made blunders and natural disasters made these towers end up this way. 


Millennium Tower is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 10 Famous Buildings That Are Leaning (And Aren’t In Pisa)
Photo: Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

Of all the famous buildings that are leaning, the Millennium Tower takes the cake as the youngest. Completed in 2009, the Millennium Tower in San Francisco has already tilted two inches to the northwest AND sunk sixteen inches. After a lot of finger-pointing, experts determined that this is due to the building's support beams being drilled only 80 feet down into dense sand as opposed to 200 feet down into sturdy bedrock – a measure taken to cut construction costs. Oops.

see more on Millennium Tower

Big Ben is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 10 Famous Buildings That Are Leaning (And Aren’t In Pisa)
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Built in 1858, the Parliament Clock Tower (AKA "Big Ben") leans northwest approximately .26 degrees. Engineers say this is likely due to underground construction projects over the last few decades. Though subtle, surveyors say that the lean will continue to worsen over time. Look like we might have another Pisa on our hands. 

Also Ranked

#8 on The Top Must-See Attractions in Europe

#39 on Historical Landmarks to See Before You Die

see more on Big Ben

Suurhusen Church Tower - Suurhusen, Germany


Suurhusen Church Tower - Suurh... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 10 Famous Buildings That Are Leaning (And Aren’t In Pisa)
Photo: optikorakel/Flickr

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Germany's Suurhusen Church Tower has the biggest unintentional lean of any building in the world. Built on swampy land, the church's foundation of oak logs kept it stable and upright for centuries. However, extensive land draining in the 18th century caused the foundation to become unsettled and the tower began to lean


Two Towers of Bologna is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 10 Famous Buildings That Are Leaning (And Aren’t In Pisa)
Photo: taver/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

The "Due Torri" were both built early in the 12th century as status symbols by the Asinelli and Garisenda families. Originally similar in height, the now-smaller Garisenda tower had to be shortened in the 14th century due to an unstable foundation and a dangerous lean. The towers have sparked numerous legends about romance and squabbles and were even mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy

see more on Two Towers of Bologna