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Meissen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1575

CARTOUCHE: Misena, city of Hermunduri. 

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "This city is surrounded by very many rivers, to the east flows the Elbe, to the south the Triebisch, to the west are the mountains, to the north the Meisse, after which the city is said to be named. The city is well-situated in its surroundings, the navigable rivers, the mountains and the healthy air. Around the city there is a good land to grow grain, fertile vineyards on the hillsides and without doubt the mountains are not without ore, for one mile away, up the Elbe, is Scharfenberg, where silver and lead ore are mined." 

The plate of Meissen is a skilful combination of side view and bird's-eye view, looking across the Elbe from the northeast. Meissen grew up around the castle, built by Emperor Henry I around AD 929, and was granted a municipal charter at the end of the 12th century. From 1471 onwards, the castle complex (21) was reconstructed as the residence of the Saxon electors on the northeast corner of the Domberg (Cathedral Hill). Meissen cathedral is a Gothic hall church begun c. 1270; in 1413 a bolt of lightning destroyed its west towers (18), which were replaced only in the 20th century. (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 most excellent 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. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel made those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographers 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 1612. The subsequent 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. 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree, and in 1562, he received 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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568, he was banned from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to large-scale projects like 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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Misena Hermundurorum Urbs

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Item Number:  9360 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

Old, antique bird’s-eye view plan of Meissen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Title: Misena Hermundurorum Urbs.

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

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 330 x 493mm (12.99 x 19.41 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 2: De Praecipuis, Totius Universi Urbibus, Liber Secundus. Köln, Gottfried von Kempen, 1575. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.2)

The engraving is made after a woodcut of Münster's Cosmographia, 1572. 

CARTOUCHE: Misena, city of Hermunduri. 

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "This city is surrounded by very many rivers, to the east flows the Elbe, to the south the Triebisch, to the west are the mountains, to the north the Meisse, after which the city is said to be named. The city is well-situated in its surroundings, the navigable rivers, the mountains and the healthy air. Around the city there is a good land to grow grain, fertile vineyards on the hillsides and without doubt the mountains are not without ore, for one mile away, up the Elbe, is Scharfenberg, where silver and lead ore are mined." 

The plate of Meissen is a skilful combination of side view and bird's-eye view, looking across the Elbe from the northeast. Meissen grew up around the castle, built by Emperor Henry I around AD 929, and was granted a municipal charter at the end of the 12th century. From 1471 onwards, the castle complex (21) was reconstructed as the residence of the Saxon electors on the northeast corner of the Domberg (Cathedral Hill). Meissen cathedral is a Gothic hall church begun c. 1270; in 1413 a bolt of lightning destroyed its west towers (18), which were replaced only in the 20th century. (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 most excellent 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. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel made those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographers 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 1612. The subsequent 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. 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree, and in 1562, he received 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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568, he was banned from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

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

References: Van der Krogt 4 - 2684; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.182