14.07.

1902: The Collapse of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice

1902: The Collapse of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Ruins of the Campanile

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 14 July 1902
  • About a thousand years old tower collapsed on this day in 1902. Today’s St Mark's Campanile, which can be seen in Venice, is a copy of the original tower and was built on the same site to replace the demolished building.

On this day, in 1902, the famous St Mark’s Campanile in Venice collapsed.

It was a disaster, considering the importance and the age of the tower, which was about 1000 years old at the time. 

Today’s St Mark’s Campanile, which can be seen in Venice, is a copy of the original tower and was built on the same site to replace the demolished building.

The construction of the original tower started back in the 9th century. Its final form the tower took throughout the centuries in the Middle Ages, as in the early 16th century.

 It is interesting that it was even equipped with a lightning rod since 1776. St Mark’s Campanile stood out with its considerable height – 98.6 meters – and the basic building material of the lower part was brick.

In the year 1902, a dangerous crack appeared on the north side of the tower, which eventually increased. On this day of that same year, the tower completely collapsed. 

Fortunately, no one was killed and no other buildings were demolished because the tower has a specific position distanced from other buildings (as opposed to the prevailing church towers, which are located along the main building of the Church). 

St Mark’s Campanile was restored in less than ten years and was officially opened on Saint Mark’s feast day (25 April) in 1912.

Even this rebuilt tower is over 100 years old today and in need of reconstruction and structural reinforcements so it would not start to lean or collapse. 

The problem is being solved by building titanium ring into the tower’s foundations.

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