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Author Topic: Missing in Barcelona  (Read 645 times)
Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« on: March 03, 2015, 12:08:01 am »

So, we've just got back from a week in Barcelona. As some of you may know I am a big fan of Narcis Monturiol and I kind of thought Barcelona would feel the same way. What I really would like to post on here is a picture of the 1:1 scale replica of his very successful steam powered submarine, launched in 1867. But I can't - because somebody in authority decided it was too unimportant and destroyed it.

You can Google Ictineo II to find out what it looked like - I'm too depressed...

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Airship Artificer, part-time romantik and amateur Natural Philosopher

"wee all here are much troubled with the loss of poor Thompson & Sutton"
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 07:13:30 pm »

So being the first workable submarine in the world wasn't important enough to save the replica from destruction?  



(It's that, or ranting and raving...)

150 years on and Barcelona still hasn't grasped the influence and import of Monturiol.  At the same time I'm sure they won't be racing to pull down La Sagrada Familia when it's (finally) finished...
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Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 11:53:09 pm »

Indeed James.

The replica of Ictineo 1 is still at the Maritime Museum but when I asked inside where the replica of the later vessel was, I could tell by the demeanour of the people there that they were equally horrified and suitably embarrassed. Monturiol is more remembered for his political activities in the independance movement and he has primacy in an exhibit in the Museum of the history of Catalonia in the Barcelonetta. I looked for the Museum of Barcelona but couldn't find it! I don't know if that has been removed as well...

Barcelona seems to me to be a confused city that is mainly focusing on the post 1992 Olympics era, maybe because it is the period of post Franco prosperity and growth. I suppose there is a cultural need to expunge all memories of life under the fascist regime. This is, I think reflected in the celebration of the expansion of Barcelona in the C19th on the back of the industrial revolution and as marked by the 1888 great exhibition, which  seems more acceptable than the period 1929 to 1975, presumably because that is still within living memory. I suppose the Modernisme is also a better tourist story than the social history of much of the C20th. Which all makes me confused as to why they should not revere Monturiol as the incredibly important inventor and exceptional engineer that he clearly deserves. Still, it is a wonderful city which rewards a bit of digging and observant strolling through the many alleys and calles of the old town. Carlos Ruiz Zafon's book The Shadow of the Wind was my holiday read and I was delighted to realise we were staying in Calle Santa Ana, the location of the shop where Daniel Sempere grew up and lived.

I think Sagrida Familia is safe, pretty much all of Gaudi's work has been well marketed and are pretty much the jewels in Barcelona's tourist crown.
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Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2015, 09:41:31 pm »

Yes, bad news about the Ictineo.

But the first submarine to sink an enemy ship was the human-powered CSS Hunley, that sank the USS Housatonic off Charleston in 1864.
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--
Keith
Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2015, 11:31:48 pm »

Monturiol was a pacifist really although he did try, unsuccessfully to get the Spanish navy interested in his work. The original purpose of his submarine was to enable sponge divers to do their work more safely. Ictineo II was able to dive and surface under complete control and had a split steam engine, one half of which worked on the surface, the other working whilst submerged driven by a chemical boiler. Incredibly ahead of its time. Also, very significantly it never killed any of its own crew, in fact, to the best of my knowledge it never killed anybody. I think it is fair to say that Ictineo II was the world's first successful modern submarine. The USA however, quite rightly honours and respects the remains of the CSS Hunley and the contribution it made.
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