Mechelen by Braun & Hogenberg
Mechelen - Nitidissimae Civitatis Mechlineensis in meditullio Brabantiae sitae, exactis: delineatio - Braun & Hogenberg.
Old map - Bird's-eye plan of Mechelen, costume figures at bottom right, engraved after a plan by Jacob van Deventer.
TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Faithful view of the illustrious town of Mechelen, in the middle of Brabant.
COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "In the year 1473 Charles the Bold moved the Supreme Court, also called the Royal Council or Assembly, to Mechelen: he himself is the supreme judge in the company of 34 other lords. Initially this council accompanied his Lordship at all times and followed him wherever he went; in the absence of the sovereign the Chancellor presided over all others in his place. One could appeal to it from almost all the courts in Belgium."
Franz Hogenberg's birthplace is illustrated twice. In the view presented in Volume I the cityscape is dominated by the massive tower belonging to the cathedral of Sint-Rombout, which measures almost 100 m in height. Behind the cathedral to the right lies the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe church built in the Brabantine late Gothic style. In the present plate Mechelen is seen in a bird's-eye view from the northwest. Clearly apparent is the almost circular shape of the inner city, which has already spread beyond the bounds of the canal ringing the old city wall. In the Middle Ages staple rights and the cloth trade brought Mechelen great prosperity. In 1336 the city passed to the Duchy of Brabant, later to Burgundy, and developed into a highly regarded centre of commerce. The collapse of the cloth industry prompted the development of new areas of manufacturing, such as cannon and bell founding. In 1477 Mechelen passed to the Habsburgs and from 1507 to 1530, under the regency of Margaret of Austria, was capital of the Habsburg Netherlands. In 1559 Mechelen became an archbishopric and over the course of the Wars of Religion grew into a centre of the Counter-Reformation. For some time it was also the seat of the highest tribunal of the Habsburg Netherlands. (Taschen)
Size: 33.5 x 46cm (13.1 x 17.9 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2664; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.220.
From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Liber tertius. Köln, G. Kempen, 1581-88. (Koeman, B&H3)