The hydraulic machine of Toledo and its introduction to China and Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries

Koenig, A.; Tamburrino, A.

Keywords: Artificio de Juanelo, Water lifting machine, Toledo


The article presents a description of one of the most significant hydraulic works of the 16th century, known as the "Artificio de Juanelo." This hydraulic system, surpassing a height difference of over 90 meters, lifted water from the Tajo River to the Alcázar de Toledo in Spain. The genius behind this creation was the Italian engineer Juanelo Turriano. Currently, the exact mechanism for water lifting is not known, but it is understood that it was powered by two hydraulic wheels. The Artificio operated from 1569 until 1617, and its remnants were finally demolished in 1868. Additionally, the article provides a description of the mechanism found in two books printed in China in 1590 and 1623. These accounts were part of the diffusion of European culture and technology in Japan and China, a strategic move employed by the Jesuits as a means to introduce Christianity to Asia.

Más información

Título de la Revista: Revista SOCHID
Volumen: 37
Editorial: Sociedad Chilena de Ingeniería Hidráulico
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Página de inicio: 41
Página final: 53
Idioma: Inglés