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Walking tours

Did I ever tell you I met Gallileo?

Please meet Marin Getaldić, a 16th century mathematician, physicist, optician and an astronomer born in Dubrovnik. If you have a seat next to him you can admire the view of the Hotel Dubrovnik, one of the most famous hotels in Zagreb, named after his hometown. Getaldić was an inventor who lived a part of his life in Italy where he became penpals with the great Galileo Galilei.

Upon returning to Dubrovnik, Getaldić started experimenting with optical devices, mirrors and sunlight. He used parabolic mirrors to direct sunlight on to different objects in order to determine the melting point of various substances. Interestingly, he conducted yhis experiments in a cave on the shore, called the Betina Cave.

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It didn’t take long for rumors to spread around Dubrovnik, that a strange man lives in the cave and burns things with mirrors. Some went as far as to say that he burnt the boats and curious individuals that would come too close to the cave. He got a nickname - The Wizard of Betina Cave. Of course, Getaldić wasn’t using magic but doing scientific research and today we appreciate his work far more.

The parabolic mirrors that Getaldić experimented with are today used in satellite dishes, telescopes, microscopes and different lighting devices. One of his original mirrors can still be seen today in the London National Maritime Museum.

With his work being so far ahead of his time, he might as well have been a wizard after all?
Or - just a really smart guy!

About the project

Sit & Meet is a project in Zagreb that includes unique walking tours where you can meet Croatian innovators and geniuses for a coffee, along with seeing all the famous city sights.

Through the Sit & Meet project, you can learn everything about the Croatian coffee culture and meet the Croatian innovators, explorers, and other famous people who made an impact on the world.

Buy one of our souvenirs at the #1 stop of the Sit & Meet tour

Amelie, Vlaška street 6

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