I love when I find or just hear about something quite rare. Although it will be in the news soon – as the exhibition on Klicevica opens tomorrow – this is a fairly first report on this interesting triple barrel cannon.
I first heard about this canon few months back while hanging out with my friend who is an antiques dealer and he pointed out that there was a wonderful curiosity found at the local museum of small town of Benkovac. The area surrounding Benkovac is the oldest inhabited area in Dalmatia and there are numerous important discoveries yet to be made. But there are already so many interesting places and findings that make this area very interesting for everyone into history and archaeology. Sites like Asseria, Karin, Klicevica… are all very important sites of our history!
This canon has been made of bronze and it is now in poor shape as it, apparently, exploded on one occasion when it was used. Whoever was nearby, did not live too long to tell what happened… There are numerous findings of “bullets” or projectiles this and other canons of the time used. Klicevica Fortress was a border fortress at the time when the Turks started their advance in this area. It was heavily armed but never thoroughly explored. This canon was found in 1968 by a group of kids and donated to the museum only after the 90s war. Even then, no one quite knew the history of this canon…
Triple barrel cannons are quite a rare find in Europe and no one knows the exact history of this canon. The best guess is the drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci in his Codex Atlanticus. Leonardo designed numerous military weapons and equipment as he lived at the times of serious wars between the North Italian city-states. However, there is not a single record that a canon like this was ever made. Until now…
The cannon on the drawings and the model from the museum in Milan strongly resemble the Klićevica cannon. Almost all elements, despite “our” cannon being so terribly damaged, are there. It is most likely that the canon was made in Italy (well. there was no Italy at the time…) and then brought to Dalmatia by the Venetians who ruled the area back in those days.
We don’t know if Leonardo had anything to do with this cannon but it definitely looks like it!
If in the area, Benkovac museum is worth stopping at as there are some quite interesting findings and the local curator is very knowledgeable and willing to show all the riches of the area!
More on Leonardo’s canon: http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/triple-barrel-canon.aspx and here is the link to the museum: http://www.benkovac.hr/zav_muz.html
Contact me if you want to go and visit the canon and the fortress: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also heard, from a very reliable source, that there is ANOTHER canon just like this one, buried in one man’s garden in Benkovac. But he does not know exactly where he buried it ;)