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I was thinking about the rivalry between Pisa and Florence while I was sketching up at Piazzola di Michelangelo, and I noticed that the tip of the tower of il palazzo vecchio seems to be stretching up to be just a hair taller than the bell tower of il duomo. This in turn reminded me of another tower that I've visited recently, the Qutub Minar, which is a 13th century tower in Delhi India that rises to that is about 70 meters tall. I know this seems a bit distant, but what drew me to make the connection was a nearby tower that was attempted to beat the qutub minar, but failed miserably, as the technology for the mortarless qutub minar had been long lost over a few centuries of unstable times.

I marvelled at the fact that even with a perfectly good model to study, the new, and very ambitious, builders were unable to come close to beating the Qutub. I wonder how much the builders of the "rival" towers in Florence (and Pisa for that matter) )were aiming to beat their predecessors, and if there were other, failed builds that we don't know about. It seems that with every towers story, there is always a chaper that sounds like "and because some other tower was 10 feet taller than the original plans of this one, the architects decided to build it 12 feet taller than planned."

I am also inclined to try and compare how advanced the tower builders methods were, especially since they were built in a similar time period. I don't know quite so much about Qutub minar as I would like, especially about its construction, but the fact that it is perfectly intact (except the little viewing gazebo on its top, which was removed at some point, and now stands in the courtyard around the Minar) after centuries of conquest, and more recent pollution hazzards, and despite excavation of its foundations is a wonder in itself. It would be interesting to compare the building methods in Florence and in Delhi, and see if the architects roots can be traced back to any common ground (the architects if the Minar were "imported" I think from somewhere west of Delhi).

-- RoelCordero? - 05 Apr 2005

  • Delhi15.jpg:

  • Florence:
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