François I asked Leonardo da Vinci to work on a project which linked the Loire and Rhône rivers. The master conceived locks, river construction, swing bridges, and even paddle boats for the Kingdom's channels.
The level of precision of the model impressed: tortoise shell-like armor with thirty openings to fire on all sides, a turret offering a 360° view, an interior space that could accommodate a dozen men, and serrated wheels to ensure maximum support.
5 centuries later, it may have been an inspiration for our modern day tanks.
Leonardo da Vinci became interested in the art of clock making, in particular in the springs used to create a continuous mechanism. The Florentine engineer was fascinated by springs: something which controlled movement in one dimension with unprecedented accuracy.
Château du Clos Lucé