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Wroclaw (Breslau), by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg. 1590

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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Item Number:  26777
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Eastern Europe
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #4876; Fauser - #1924; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.322

Old, antique map - bird's-eye view plan of Wroclaw (Breslau), by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The city government, which is constituted of the best and wisest of councillors, is held there in high esteem and great honour. The populace also obeys the Council with the greatest deference and the humblest submissiveness. The city ordinances there do not favour any one party over another but rather strive for propriety, the observance of justice and the equality of all citizens. [...] In addition, there are also designated magistrates, who with their clercks, impart advice to everyone in the country who seeks their counsel. In addition, there are many arts and crafts in this city that are both good and useful for everyday life. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that good, flavoursome beer is brewed there."

Wroclaw (German Breslau) is shown in a bird's-eye view, looking towards southwest, with the River Oder dividing into several arms. Large market squares are at the centre of the fortified city: on the left, the Ring (13) with the town hall (14), next to which is the Salzring (18), and to the right Neumarkt (54). Cathedral Island (80) - the bishopric of Wroclaw was established in AD 1000 - is on the right-hand margin of the picture. The building of a new fortified castel (30) in the late 12th century gave the city three centres: the ducal seat and the Ghetto under its protection; the ecclesiastical city on Sand and Cathedral Islands; and the German mercantile city, more recently laid out round the Ring. Ceded to the Habsburgs in 1526, Wroclaw became Prussian in 1742. In the Holy Roman Empire, Wroclaw was a major centre of trade and commerce and a university city. The city became Polish after the Second World War. Displaced Poles, most of them from what is now Lviv in Ukraine, replaced the displaced Germans who were forced to leave the city after the war. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1588
Date of this map: 1590

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 36.5 x 49cm (14.2 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: German
Condition: Small reinforcement at centrefold split.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, #4876; Fauser, #1924; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.322.

From: Contrafactur und Beschreibung von den vornembsten Stetten der Welt. Liber quartus Köln, Bertram Büchholtz, 1590. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:2.1)

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.