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Poland - Swiebodzin, by Braun & Hogenberg. 1596

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Swiebodzin is an ancient town in Silesia, but is almost never given consideration by chroniclers. It lies on the far side of the Oder, in the direction of the north and Poland. The reason why Swiebodzin did not grow very fast lay in the fact that it was never truly safe, due its position near the border with Poland. It lies ten miles west of Glogau. The rule of the Duchy of Glogau formerly extended to a number of other towns, the whole of Sagan [...] and a large part of Upper Poland, which over time were separated and divided as a result of wars."

The bird's-eye view of Swiebodzin (German Schwiebus) shows a town laid out on a spacious plan around an impressive town hall (Rathaus) that was built c. 1550. A number of readily discernible cranes serve to emphasize the economic importance of the town, which lay on the crossroads of two trade routes. Swiebodzin was also known for the manufacture of beer and cloth. Originally part of Lower Saxony, in 1335 it passed to the Duchy of Glogów. In 1526 Swiebodzin came under Habsburg rule and in 1472, after the First Silesian War, it became part of Prussia. After the Second World War the city fell to Poland.


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, and the sixth 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 cartographers 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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to large-scale projects like 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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Die Stat Swybuschin in Nider Schlesien

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Item Number:  22102
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Eastern Europe
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 4211; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.406

Antique map - bird's-eye plan of Swiebodzin by Braun and Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1596
Date of this map: 1596/97

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 49cm (13.3 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4211; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.406.

From: Urbium Praecipuarum Mundi Theatrum Quintum Auctore Georgio Braunio Agrippinate. Part 5. Köln, 1596/97. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.5)

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Swiebodzin is an ancient town in Silesia, but is almost never given consideration by chroniclers. It lies on the far side of the Oder, in the direction of the north and Poland. The reason why Swiebodzin did not grow very fast lay in the fact that it was never truly safe, due its position near the border with Poland. It lies ten miles west of Glogau. The rule of the Duchy of Glogau formerly extended to a number of other towns, the whole of Sagan [...] and a large part of Upper Poland, which over time were separated and divided as a result of wars."

The bird's-eye view of Swiebodzin (German Schwiebus) shows a town laid out on a spacious plan around an impressive town hall (Rathaus) that was built c. 1550. A number of readily discernible cranes serve to emphasize the economic importance of the town, which lay on the crossroads of two trade routes. Swiebodzin was also known for the manufacture of beer and cloth. Originally part of Lower Saxony, in 1335 it passed to the Duchy of Glogów. In 1526 Swiebodzin came under Habsburg rule and in 1472, after the First Silesian War, it became part of Prussia. After the Second World War the city fell to Poland.


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, and the sixth 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 cartographers 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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to large-scale projects like 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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