Europe / Travel

The Town of Guimaraes and the Genius of Leonardo da Vinci:

You Never Know What Surprises Can Be Found in a Historic Portuguese Palace

We were in the historic town of Guimaraes, Portugal to explore medieval core of the town and then move on. But we discovered an unexpected treat in the town’s restored 15th century Ducal Palace. On the upper level, a temporary Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit filled three rooms, but not a single one of his priceless paintings was to be seen. An exhibit of wooden models of some of his many futuristic inventions, constructed from the master’s original drawings.

The Palace, as well as other attractions in Guimaraes require a post of their own. So I’m turning this page over to Simon. His photos will take you into the mind of the genius, Da Vinci through the models of things we take for granted today. A crane, a bicycle, a scuba tank and others can easily be identified. The amazing aspect of these models as they were planned out over 500 years ago.

My only disappointment was I was unable to touch the models. Whether the reasons for this policy made sense or not is not for me to say, but getting up close and personal with these models would have been quite an experience.

The two lower levels of the palace were wheelchair accessible. An elevator had been installed at some point, and ramps were present in the doorway of each room. Unfortunately, the Da Vinci Exhibit was housed at the top of a flight of steep, narrow stairs, with no other access that we could see.

Inventions From the Brilliant Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci

A Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci for Automating the Production of Metal Files (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
A Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci for Automating the Production of Metal Files (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
Model of a Crane that is a Precursor of the Ubiquitous Modern Tower Crane. The Design by Leonardo da Vinci Included Raising the Load, Swiveling to a New Location and Lateral Travel Balanced by a Counterweight (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
Model of a Crane that is a Precursor of the Ubiquitous Modern Tower Crane. The Design by Leonardo da Vinci Included Raising the Load, Swiveling to a New Location and Lateral Travel Balanced by a Counterweight (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

Leonardo da Vinci Created the Design for a Mechanical Method for Measuring Distance. With Each Revolution of the Wheel in Contact with the Ground a Finite Pre-Measured Distance was Covered. This Caused the Vertical Cogged Wheel to Advance One Pin (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
Leonardo da Vinci Created the Design for a Mechanical Method for Measuring Distance. With Each Revolution of the Wheel in Contact with the Ground a Finite Pre-Measured Distance was Covered. This Caused the Vertical Cogged Wheel to Advance One Pin (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

In Turn the Horizontal Wheel Turned One Notch Causing a Ball to Drop From Cavitities in the Horizontal Disk into a Collection Box. The Complete Disk was Loaded with a Certain Number of Balls that Represented a Measured Distance. Then the Counter Would be Reloaded to Continue Measuring. The Modern Day Equivalent is the Measuring Wheel (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
In Turn the Horizontal Wheel Turned One Notch Causing a Ball to Drop From Cavitities in the Horizontal Disk into a Collection Box. The Complete Disk was Loaded with a Certain Number of Balls that Represented a Measured Distance. Then the Counter Would be Reloaded to Continue Measuring. The Modern Day Equivalent is the Measuring Wheel (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

No Explanation Needed - Leonardo da Vinci Designed the Bicycle - One Has to Wonder Why Bicycles with Chains Were Not Seen Until the Late 19th Century (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
No Explanation Needed – Leonardo da Vinci Designed the Bicycle – One Has to Wonder Why Bicycles with Chains Were Not Seen Until the Late 19th Century (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

Design for a Paddle Wheel to Propel a Boat by Leonardo da Vinci - This Concept was Later Adopted in the Paddle Steamers (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
Design for a Paddle Wheel to Propel a Boat by Leonardo da Vinci – This Concept was Later Adopted in the Paddle Steamers (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

A Mechanical Drum that Played as the Instrument was Pushed Forwards. Leonardo da Vinci Included a Way of Changing the Tempo and \"Tune\" by Moving Pegs in a Revolving Drum. This Idea is Similar to the Mechanism Seen in Mechanical Musical Boxes (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
A Mechanical Drum that Played as the Instrument was Pushed Forwards. Leonardo da Vinci Included a Way of Changing the Tempo and “Tune” by Moving Pegs in a Revolving Drum. This Idea is Similar to the Mechanism Seen in Mechanical Musical Boxes (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

The Purpose of this Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci is Not Known; but Close observation of the Layout of the Pulleys Suggest that it was Possibly Designed to Evenly Stretch a Fabric or Perhaps Leather (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
The Purpose of this Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci is Not Known; but Close observation of the Layout of the Pulleys Suggest that it was Possibly Designed to Evenly Stretch a Fabric or Perhaps Leather (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

 

The Purpose of this Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci is Not Known; but Close observation of the Layout of the Pulleys Suggest that it was Possibly Designed to Evenly Stretch a Fabric or Perhaps Leather (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)
The Purpose of this Machine Designed by Leonardo da Vinci is Not Known; but Close observation of the Layout of the Pulleys Suggest that it was Possibly Designed to Evenly Stretch a Fabric or Perhaps Leather (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

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