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Ship models from the workshop of the Jesuit priest Gabriel Gruber

After he completed his studies of philosophy and theology in Graz and for a while taught in Vienna, the Jesuit and hydrotechnician Gabriel Gruber (Vienna, 1740 – Sankt Peterburg, 1805) came to Ljubljana in 1768 with intention to teach drawing, geometry, mechanics and hydraulics at the first craft-vocational school in the city. Later on he constructed, on the basis of his own plans, the Gruber Palace, in which he eventually managed mechanics and hydraulics school and taught engineering sciences, construction industry and shipbuilding. The historical ship models (Venetian galley, lagoon galley, shambek, Austrian battle ship “Kaiser Karel VI” and sloops) were created during the 1774–1783 period in his model workshop on the ground floor of his palace. They were made by model workers from Trieste and its environs and served as teaching aids.

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