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Calais, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1596/97

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Caletum, sive Calesium, vulgo Cales, ...

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Item Number:  24153
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map - bird's-eye plan of Calais by Braun and Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CAPTION: Caletum or Calesium, in French Calais, gate of entry, fortress and key of France, came under the power of the Spanish King Philip in April of the year 1597.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Calais [...] is a city in Flanders, a very strong fortress due to its natural location and the skill of its builders, that has always been considered a key or, as it were, a gateway to France. [...] Calais lies on the border when one travels from Flanders to England, exactly opposite the English port of Dover."

This bird's-eye view shows the city of Calais from the south. Bitterly contested in the Middle Ages, Calais was England's last bastion on the European continent when - after just 200 years in English hands - it was restored to France in 1558. Since the city also suffered severe bombing in the Second World War, little remains today of the historical fabric that is here clearly visible. On the left is the citadel of Calais, which was built on the foundations of the medieval castle of Philippe Hurepel, Count of Boulogne. In the centre of the city lies the town hall, which was completely remodelled in the Flemish Renaissance style from 1911 and in front of which Auguste Rodin's famous monument The Burghers of Calais now stands. Also visible on the left, is the Tour de Guet, a 13th-century donjon, which is all that survives of a former castle, and, on the far right, the church of Notre-Dame. (Taschen)

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

Copper engraving
Size: 32 x 39cm (12.5 x 15.2 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 741, State 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.375.

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

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