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Chartres and Châteaudun, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1599


Autricum, Prolemeo in Gallia Lugdunensis Urbs; vulgo, cum Villa nouano, Chartres. [on sheet with:] Chasteaudunum, Comitatus vulgo Dunoys in Gallia Oppidum primorium.

€280  ($327.6 / £238)
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Item Number:  24021
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map with two bird's-eye plans by Braun and Hogenberg: Chartres and Châteaudun.


TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Autricum, according to Ptolemy a city in Gallia Lugdunensis; in French, together with Villa novano, Chartres.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "It is said that Druids inhabited the countryside that lies west of Paris, namely the countryside of Carnutum, which is very large and wide. The city's noblest church is dedicated to Our Lady and was converted from the suprestitious idolatry of pagans into a holy and chaste practise of the true religion. Bishop Gancellinus hung the tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is reverently preserved there, on a long lance, and when he was harried by a mob of lansquenets, he rode away with it victouriously."

Chartres, situated on the Eure, is seen in a bird's-eye view from the southeast. Rising above the city with its numerous gardens and fields is the famous cathedral of Notre-Dame, erected in the 13th century on the foundations of the previous Romanesque church following the fire of 1194. It represents the oldest High Gothic cathedral still almost entirerly preserved today and served as the model for many other Gothic churches. Measuring over 130 m long, the church arose on the site where in pre-Christian times a Virgo paritura (a virgin about to give birth) had already been venerated. Under Charles the Bald the church was consecrated in AD 876 with the reliquary of the tunic of the Virgin Mary; Chartres subsequently became an important pilgrimage site of Marian worship in medieval Europe, which also brought the city economic prosperity. The cathedral school also rose to become an important centre of learning in the Middle Ages. (Taschen)


CARTOUCHE: Châteaudun, capital of the Franch County of Dunois.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The city looks as if it were clinging to a cliff and is indeed so artfully constructed that one might say it hangs aloft like a swallow's nest. That this city was once much larger than it is today is evidenced by the many ruined churches that can now be seen in the outskirts."

Châteaudun, situated not far from Orléans and Chartres, is presented in a bird's-eye view from the east that clearly shows how the city leans up against the ridge on the right. The château, visible top right, with its dominant 12th-century donjon, achieved fame as the residence of Jean de Dunois, the companion-in-arms of the Maid of Orléans: repeatedly reconstructed and expanded over the years, by the 16th century the medieval fortress above the Loir (a tributary of the Loire) had evolved into a palace in the Gothic and Renaissance style. On the upper left-hand edge of the engraving is the church of La Madeleine. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 33.5 x 48cm (13.1 x 18.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured.
Condition Rating: A
References: Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.212.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. . Liber tertius. Köln, G. Kempen, 1581-88. (Koeman, B&H3)