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Bremen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. c. 1610

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Bremen, well-fortified and through trade a rich and flourishing Hanseatic city on the Weser.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The citizens of the city are either merchants or artisans, and there is an inordinate number of skilled shipwrights. By nature they are quarrelsome, clever and tend towards rebellion, as testified by past and recent history. For this reason the burgomaster of Bremen, Ditmar Kenkel, although a learned man, was obliged to leave the city with other councillors, as he has declared in a book published in Ursel in 1565. [...] There is a large wide market square where all sorts of vital necessities are sold every week. In the middle of the square stands a statue of the Emperor and King, holding only the sword of justice in his hand. One side of the market is dominated by the cathedral, the other by the town hall."

The city is seen from the southwest across the Weser. This is a bird's-eye view of the city with its strictly geometric plan, whereby the perspective is greatly distorted by the staffage figures in the foreground and the extremely steep angle of the far bank of the Weser. Emphasis is placed upon the city's situation on the navigable Weser, which flows out to the North Sea at modern-day Bremerhaven some 60 km to the north. The large marketplace (Forum) in front of the townhall (Curia) can be identified by the statue of Roland, the city's symbol of liberty erected in 1404, and by the cathedral with its two towers of different heights. Although the people of Bremen possessed ocean-going ships in the form of their Hanse cogs from the 12th century onwards, inland navigation also remained important. Thus Bremen became an important point on intersection between domestic and foreign trade, which led in the 16th century to economic prosperity. (Taschen)


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

Thanks to such large scale projects as 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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Item Number:  16673
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 618; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.392

Antique map - bird's-eye view of Bremen by Braun and Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Bremen, well-fortified and through trade a rich and flourishing Hanseatic city on the Weser.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The citizens of the city are either merchants or artisans, and there is an inordinate number of skilled shipwrights. By nature they are quarrelsome, clever and tend towards rebellion, as testified by past and recent history. For this reason the burgomaster of Bremen, Ditmar Kenkel, although a learned man, was obliged to leave the city with other councillors, as he has declared in a book published in Ursel in 1565. [...] There is a large wide market square where all sorts of vital necessities are sold every week. In the middle of the square stands a statue of the Emperor and King, holding only the sword of justice in his hand. One side of the market is dominated by the cathedral, the other by the town hall."

The city is seen from the southwest across the Weser. This is a bird's-eye view of the city with its strictly geometric plan, whereby the perspective is greatly distorted by the staffage figures in the foreground and the extremely steep angle of the far bank of the Weser. Emphasis is placed upon the city's situation on the navigable Weser, which flows out to the North Sea at modern-day Bremerhaven some 60 km to the north. The large marketplace (Forum) in front of the townhall (Curia) can be identified by the statue of Roland, the city's symbol of liberty erected in 1404, and by the cathedral with its two towers of different heights. Although the people of Bremen possessed ocean-going ships in the form of their Hanse cogs from the 12th century onwards, inland navigation also remained important. Thus Bremen became an important point on intersection between domestic and foreign trade, which led in the 16th century to economic prosperity. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1596
Date of this map: c. 1610

Copper engraving
Size: 37 x 49cm (14.4 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: French
Condition: Contemporary coloured, some smudging in lower centre.
Condition Rating: B
References: Van der Krogt 4, 618, State 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.392.

From: Théâtre des Principales Villes de tout l'Univers. Tome 5. c. 1610.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Bremen, well-fortified and through trade a rich and flourishing Hanseatic city on the Weser.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The citizens of the city are either merchants or artisans, and there is an inordinate number of skilled shipwrights. By nature they are quarrelsome, clever and tend towards rebellion, as testified by past and recent history. For this reason the burgomaster of Bremen, Ditmar Kenkel, although a learned man, was obliged to leave the city with other councillors, as he has declared in a book published in Ursel in 1565. [...] There is a large wide market square where all sorts of vital necessities are sold every week. In the middle of the square stands a statue of the Emperor and King, holding only the sword of justice in his hand. One side of the market is dominated by the cathedral, the other by the town hall."

The city is seen from the southwest across the Weser. This is a bird's-eye view of the city with its strictly geometric plan, whereby the perspective is greatly distorted by the staffage figures in the foreground and the extremely steep angle of the far bank of the Weser. Emphasis is placed upon the city's situation on the navigable Weser, which flows out to the North Sea at modern-day Bremerhaven some 60 km to the north. The large marketplace (Forum) in front of the townhall (Curia) can be identified by the statue of Roland, the city's symbol of liberty erected in 1404, and by the cathedral with its two towers of different heights. Although the people of Bremen possessed ocean-going ships in the form of their Hanse cogs from the 12th century onwards, inland navigation also remained important. Thus Bremen became an important point on intersection between domestic and foreign trade, which led in the 16th century to economic prosperity. (Taschen)


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

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.