Memories of a Stick Man

Memories of a Stick Man

Toledo, the old capital of Spain, has never been able to benefit from the water of its river, the Tagus, which runs deep in a barranco at a drop of more than a hundred metres, neither Romans nor Arabs were able to overcome this natural challenge. Juanelo Turriano, clockmaker of the King and Lombard engineer at the service of the Spanish Crown, with the support of Felipe II and his aposentador Juan de Herrera, came up with an idea for an ingenuity or artifice capable of transporting the water at a height of more than 100 metres and through a 300-metre aqueduct to the northeast tower of the Alcazar.

This great factory, a kind of secular and Renaissance cathedral, gives employment and excitement to the popular sectors and guilds of a city that was already in decline. Juanelo, almost septuagenarian at the time of undertaking the project, risks all his stock and his energy in a company that also has detractors and enemies. Among them, the Marquis Corregidor and the living forces of the city, who are wary of the intentions of the Crown. In 1569, Juanelo completed the work with total success, but the delay in the collections chained him to Toledo and forced him to project a second ingenuity. In the meantime, the enemy powers of Spain did not cease to harass him, even assaulting his house and workshop in search of a supposed “secret weapon” for the Grand Armada that he would have been designing.

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El Hombre de Palo, his most celebrated automaton, watches impassively the last two decades of his father and creator, Juanelo Turriano, perhaps the most intense and adventurous of all the long existence of the great watchmaker and inventor, born in Cremona and in which there is no shortage of good doses of love and friendship.

AUTHOR: Antonio Lázaro


Binding : Soft cover

ISBN : 9788483651018

Issue No. :1ª

Year of release :2009

Plaza edición : MADRID

450 pages.

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