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Polna in Bohemia, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1618

CARTOUCHE TOP: Polna, in the vernacular Polm, eminent town in Bohemia, divides the kingdom from Moravia.

CARTOUCHE BOTTOM RIGHT: Procured by Georg Hoefnagel, painted by his son. In the year 1617.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "This town lies right on the border between Bohemia and Moravia, such that the town belongs to Moravia but the castle to Bohemia. Both are handsomely built and are in pleasant locations, especially the castle, which in the direction of Prague has fine ponds full of fish. This land not only has all kinds of fruits and pastures, but also birds and game and wild fowl. But since we have at present no other information about this town, and, as we have said, it lies on the border between Bohemia and Moravia, we will here give a brief account of how these two territories came together."

This is a view of Polna from the southwest looking across the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands from a slightly elevated viewpoint. In addition to the parish church (D) in the centre, this view is dominated by the castle (F) beside the river Slapanka. Polna was founded in the first half of the 13th century and was granted a municipal charter in 1479. The trade route from Prague to Vienna passed through here; the town's importance increased with the contruction of the castle in the mid-13th century. In the 15th/16th centuries the town flourished, largely due to the cloth trade. During this period the castle was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. After a fire in 1794 it stood empty until it was restored in the 20th century; today it is used as a hotel.


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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Polna vulgo Polm insign: Bohemiae civitas Regnum a Moravia dividens.

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Item Number:  23432
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Central Europe

Antique map - bird's-eye view of Polna in Bohemia by Braun and Hogenberg after G. Hoefnagel and son, 1617.

Key to six locations.

Date of the first edition: 1617
Date of this map: 1618

Copper engraving
Size: 32 x 49cm (12.5 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Left margin repaired, some smudging, superb old colour.
Condition Rating: B
References: Van der Krogt 4, 3433; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.465.

From: Theatri praecipuarum Totius Mundi Urbium Liber Sextus Anno MDCXVIII. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.6)

CARTOUCHE TOP: Polna, in the vernacular Polm, eminent town in Bohemia, divides the kingdom from Moravia.

CARTOUCHE BOTTOM RIGHT: Procured by Georg Hoefnagel, painted by his son. In the year 1617.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "This town lies right on the border between Bohemia and Moravia, such that the town belongs to Moravia but the castle to Bohemia. Both are handsomely built and are in pleasant locations, especially the castle, which in the direction of Prague has fine ponds full of fish. This land not only has all kinds of fruits and pastures, but also birds and game and wild fowl. But since we have at present no other information about this town, and, as we have said, it lies on the border between Bohemia and Moravia, we will here give a brief account of how these two territories came together."

This is a view of Polna from the southwest looking across the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands from a slightly elevated viewpoint. In addition to the parish church (D) in the centre, this view is dominated by the castle (F) beside the river Slapanka. Polna was founded in the first half of the 13th century and was granted a municipal charter in 1479. The trade route from Prague to Vienna passed through here; the town's importance increased with the contruction of the castle in the mid-13th century. In the 15th/16th centuries the town flourished, largely due to the cloth trade. During this period the castle was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. After a fire in 1794 it stood empty until it was restored in the 20th century; today it is used as a hotel.


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.