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St. Omer, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1599


S. Audomari Fanum S. Aulmer, ...

€220  ($231 / £184.8)
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Item Number:  24082
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map - bird's-eye view plan of St. Omer by Braun & Hogenberg

CARTOUCHE LEFT: S. Audomari Fanum, S. Aulmer, Saint-Omer. Iccius portus according to Abraham Ortelius; well-fortified town in Artois.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Saint-Audomar, commonly known as Saint-Audmar, and, in the mutilated form read by some, Saint-Omer, a small town in Artois, gets its name from St Audomar, a German, a priest born not far from Constance [...]. Through the recommendation of King Pippin and the bishop of Noyon, he was appointed bishop to the Morini or Flemings. Because he was a man of pious conduct, Adroaldus, a rich and noble man, was later persuaded to present him with the hamlet of Sithieu and the surrounding area to build a monastery there. [...] Through the teachings of these men a large number of people came to the little village of Sithieu and began to build a town, which was later named St Audomar or St Omer in honour of this excellent bishop."

This is a bird's-eye view from the south of the town, which is fortified with moats, walls and bastions. Numerous churches stand out, including the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame in the lower left-hand corner, with its 50-m-high clock tower. The town goes back to the Benedictine monastery established in AD 657 by Bishop Audomar of Thérouanne. Initially a religious centre, it quickly developed various commercial activities. At the beginning of the 14th century the town was one of the largest in France, the wealthiest in Artois and a centre of European trade. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1588
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 37.5cm (13.3 x 14.6 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4149, State 1; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.280.

From: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi. Cologne, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4(1599))