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Metz, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1597



€300  ($351 / £255)
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Item Number:  23969
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map - bird's-eye view of Metz by Braun and Hogenberg, with key to locations.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Metz is a splendid old, well-fortified, wealthy and open city. [...] It has large and magnificent buildings, houses and churches, which, however, were partially destroyed when Emperor Charles besieged it."

This bird's-eye view of the Lorrainese city of Metz shows in the foreground the Seille and in the distance the Moselle. The Gothic cathedral of Saint-Etienne, famed today because of its stained-glass windows by Chagall and Bissière, stands out in the middle of the medieval Old Town. The Porte des Allemands, named after the hospital of the Teutonic Order next to it, is all that remains of the medieval fortifications. Notable is the church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains (12), which goes back to a late antique roofed hall dating from the 4th century AD. In the Middle Ages Metz was an important monastery and ecclesiastical city. This development came to an end in the 16th century, when the city was transformed into a military stronghold of the French. In 1552 the French king Henry II gained control over the three imperial bishoprics (Metz, Toul and Verdun). Charles V, however, tried to recapture these Lorrainese cities. His attack was successfully warded off in January 1553. Metz then became a garrison town fortified by walls and a citadel (9). Today the capital of Lorraine has a population of 124,000. (Taschen)

The engraving is made after a woodcut from Belleforest's Cosmographie Universelle, Paris, 1575.

Date of the first edition: 1575
Date of this map: 1597

Copper engraving
Size: 36 x 38.5cm (14 x 15 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2715; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.150.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 2: De Praecipuis, Totius Universi Urbibus, Liber Secundus. Köln, Bertram Buchholz, 1597. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.2)