It may be more crooked than Pisa’s leaning tower, but the distinction may not be enough to save one of Germany’s most famous church towers.

For years, the spa town of Bad Frankenhausen, in the eastern state of Thuringia, has fought to save the dangerously tilting tower. But after the state this week rejected the town’s latest proposal to stabilize the landmark, citing concerns over the long-term viability of the plan, there is no choice but partial demolition. The news was announced by the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM) earlier this week.

Listing some 4.5 meters (15 feet) from the perpendicular, the disused structure is sliding ever closer to collapse. Bad Frankenhausen has repeatedly put forward ambitious and expensive plans, but none could guarantee success, and some could even have damaged the building. With the danger of collapse growing daily, Thuringia’s refusal for financial support on the most recent plan means that part of the 56-meter (184-foot) tower will be razed, beginning Dec. 7 at the earliest, the EKM said.

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