On this day: the collapse of St Mark’s Campanile

The campanile (bell tower) of St Mark’s in Venice collapsed on the 14th of July, 1902.

800px-Ruins_of_St_Mark's_CampanileRuins of St Mark's Campanile. 1902.

For twelve days before the building’s fall, a large crack had begun to appear on the structure. The collapse occurred at 9:45am, during which time the logetta was also destroyed. The only casualty of the disaster was the caretaker’s cat.

A fake photo of the collapse was widely circulated in the world’s media at the time:

CROLLO1Fake photo purporting to show the collapse of the original Campanile in 1902. This picture became famous around the world.

The decision was made to rebuild the campanile to look exactly as it had been, though reinforcements were used inside, and an elevator was added. This is the structure that today stands in St Mark’s Square.

As seen in 1949:

Paolo_Monti_-_Serie_fotografica_(Venezia,_1949)_-_BEIC_6346672Serie fotograficaVenezia, 1949

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