The Memorial Center “Faust Vrančić” was opened in September 2012 as a result of a successful project provided by the local community co-financed by EU funds. The main part of the exhibition is situated on the ground floor of the building, while on the terrace of the upper floor, surrounded by a Mediterranean garden, there are outdoor models of Faust’s inventions in natural size.
Faust Vrančić is great Croatian inventor and one of our most versatile humanists – polyhistor. He contributed accomplishments from many areas. He was a lawyer, philosopher, historian, lexicographer, inventor, hagiographer and theologian. He also carried out very demanding political functions of the Emperor Secretariat, the Bishop and royal governor of Hungary and Transylvania. He was a family man – husband and father, but also a priest dedicated to contemplation and the development of Christian virtues, making his life path very meaningful and interesting.
His Dictionary of the Five Most Noble European languages – Latin, Italian, German, Dalmatian and Hungarian – is the first Croatian and the first Hungarian dictionary in history. It was published in Venice in 1595 and it is considered as the foundation of Croatian lexicography.
In his collection of inventions Machinae Novae or New Machines, Faust describes 56 different devices and technical constructions in 49 large formats of chalcography. In addition to its most famous invention – parachute, two groups of projects – bridges and mills – occupy a prominent place.
Three of Faust’s bridges are of great importance because they appear for the first time in technical literature: Bronze bridge- the first idea of a metal bridge in the history of technology, a Bridge with one rope – the forerunner of modern cable car and the Iron bridge – the first idea of chain suspension bridge in history. Faust describes 18 types of mills as well. They are driven by wind, water mass, sea currents, human or animal propulsion. Faust introduces innovations into the existing idea of a mill: vertical shaft, movable wings, the forerunner of the turbine. Other inventions are also very useful in everyday life: saws, presses, water pumps, clocks, and it is interesting that Faust is also inventor of the first shock absorber in the history of technology. For some of his inventions, Faust had patent privileges received from a Venetian Doge. That suggest that he exploited his inventions in Dalmatia, most probably on one of the family estates, and that he was selling licenses for patents to others. All of the above makes him a successful entrepreneur as well.
He is the author of historiographical and political discussions, a part of the field of philosophical disciplines – Logica Nova and Ethica Christiana. He also wrote one book in his mother tongue – Život nikoliko izabranih divic – a collection of biographies of 12 early Christian martyrs devoted to nuns noblewomen of the Benedictine convent of Holy Salvation in Šibenik. His IllyricaHistoria is still in the manuscript and unpublished at National and University Library in Zagreb.