In Bologna, Italy, officials have closed off a 12th-century leaning tower due to concerns about its potential collapse.
Authorities are constructing a metal barrier around the Garisenda Tower, similar to the one around the leaning tower of Pisa, in response to the “highly critical” situation.
A 5-meter fence and rock-fall nets are being installed as part of the barrier around the tower to prevent debris from falling and causing damage to nearby buildings or injuring pedestrians.
Officials have stated that the safety measures being implemented around the tower will be finished by early next year. They consider this the initial stage in ensuring the building’s safety.
Experts evaluating the 900-year-old tower have expressed a pessimistic view regarding its long-term survival. A November report characterized the structure as being in an unavoidably critical condition for an extended period.
The recent report highlighted that prior efforts to reinforce the tower’s foundations with steel rods had actually exacerbated its condition. The tower has been closed off since October following the mayor’s directive to assess its safety. Concerningly, the report noted a change in the tower’s leaning direction.
A city spokesperson informed CNN that there’s uncertainty about when the tower might collapse. They’re treating the situation as imminent, though the actual timing remains uncertain—it could happen in three months, a decade, or even two decades.
The Garisenda Tower, standing at 154 feet (47 meters), is one of two iconic turrets that define Bologna’s medieval old town skyline.
The Asinelli Tower, taller than the Garisenda Tower and leaning less severely, remains open for tourists to climb. During the 12th century, Bologna resembled a medieval Manhattan, with affluent families vying to own the most prominent buildings.
Although many turrets have collapsed or been downsized, around a dozen still exist in Bologna today.