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Turriano, Juanelo (1500 - 1585)

Italian-Spanish engineer and inventor.

Juanelo Turriano –originally Giovanni Torriani, born in Cremona (Italy)– was a watchmaker and mechanical and hydraulic engineer of the sixteenth century. After working as a watchmaker in Italy, the Emperor Charles V ordered him an astronomical clock which was finished in 1550. Soon after, he moved to Spain where Philip II appointed him Matemático Mayor.
His work includes the “Cristalino” clock and the human-looking robots the “Lady of Vienna” and the “Hombre de Palo” or “Man of Stick”. The latter became so famous that today there is a street with his name in Toledo. However, his most important work was known as the “Artificio de Juanelo” or “Juanelo Artifice”, a hydraulic machine which raised water from the river Tagus to the Alcázar, the highest part of Toledo. The Artifice was built between 1565 and 1569 and it was operational until 1617, when he stopped working due to lack of maintenance since, after the death of Giovanni in 1585, nobody knew its operation.
variant spelling:
Turriano, Juanelo; Torriani, Giovanni
Curriculum vitae  
* 1500 Cremona, Italia Juanelo Turriano was born around 1500 in Cremona (Italy).
1529 - 1534 Cremona, Italia He worked at the Cathedral of Cremona, in the construction of clocks located in the bell tower.
1550 He presented to the Emperor Charles V an astronomical clock that he was commissioned
1563 Toledo, Spain He moved to Toledo after working as an engineer in the court of Philip II.
1565 - 1569 Toledo, Spain Construction of the "Artificio de Juanelo" or "Juanelo Artifice", a device to lift water from the Tagus to the Alcázar neighbourhood in Toledo.
† 1585 Toledo, Spain died
1617 Toledo, Spain The Juanelo Artifice stopped working once and for all.
Early modern times, ca. 1500-1780
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