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Sensational Inventions of the Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci

The Renaissance began in the 14th century and encompasses a period up until the beginning of the 16th century. In literal translation it means "rebirth". During this period, people witnessed a fundamental change in their notion of what a human being was and it placed him at the center of everything; it was a change reflected in the arts.

It was the time when Europe became a leading power economically, politically and culturally. Society was completely transformed by the printing press, the new sources of energy, great geographical discoveries, the invention and improvement of firearms and more.

In terms of advancements in biology, the European Renaissance sparked the interest of people toward empirical natural history and physiology. In 1543, Andreas Vesalius set the beginning of the age of modern Western medicine.

Artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci often worked with naturalists who were also interested in how the bodies of animals and humans functioned and also studied human physiology. In this way they contributed to adding new knowledge in the field of anatomy.

Man has long imagined waging wars at the bottom of the sea. Humans going underwater bordered on nothing more than imagination all the way until the Renaissance. During the 15th century, underwater diving began to be taken more seriously but primarily for military purposes.

The 1st significant advancement came in 1578, when Englishman William Bourne designed the 1st submersible warship, which would submerge using chambers located on both sides of a waterproof hull.


Leonardo da Vinci, besides being a spectacular painter, was also known for actively advertising his military tech ideas. One of these revealed the prototype for the machine gun. Guns took too long to fire and reload, but arranging a bunch of them together would be enough to devastate enemy infantry.

The 1st bicycle in history was also born from Leonardo's mind. He added drawings of a double wheeled contraption, powered by humans, in one of his works in 1447.

It is also thought that Leonardo was the 1st person to come up with the idea of constructing a mechanical human, or in other words - a robot. This happened in 1495. According to the concept, it was supposed to be a mechanical device, made to look like a knight in armor, that could perform several human movements.

Of course these are just some of the great inventions of the Renaissance but the genius painter and inventor Leonardo da Vinci deserves his fair share of credit. The ideas for the creation of the automobile, tank and parachute were also thought to be his.