Photo in the News: Leaning Church Topples Pisa's Record

Pictures of the leaning tower of Pisa and the leaning church in Suurhusen, Germany
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November 8, 2007—The battle for the most-tilted-tower title has gotten downright medieval, with a 13th-century German church flattening the circa-1372 Leaning Tower of Pisa's record, Guinness World Records announced this week.

Compromised by a wooden foundation and sodden soil, the Suurhusen church's 15th-century steeple addition tilts at a 5.07-degree angle, versus the Italian tower's current 3.97 degrees, according to Olaf Kuchenbecker of Guinness World Records' German office.

"When you lay photos of the two next to each other, you can see it relatively clearly," Kuchenbecker told the Reuters news agency.

The ornate 185-foot-tall (56-meter-tall) Pisa edifice, though, would tower over the 84-foot-tall (26-meter-tall) village landmark.

A woozy foundation isn't all the two landmarks have in common. Today both are mainly tourist attractions, with the Suurhusen church hosting services only on major holidays.

And both were stabilized in the 1990s. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was actually somewhat straightened, perhaps depriving it of Guinness fame.

—Ted Chamberlain

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