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Magdeburg by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg. 1577

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Magdeburg was called Parthenopolis (virgin city) after Venus, who was once worshipped here: it is the capital of Saxony, remarkable for its wealth and power and known for its narrow city walls and its proximity to the Elbe.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Magdeburg [...] is the noblest city in Saxony [...]. Here there are splendid houses, magnificent streets, large and richly decorated churches: the church of St Maurice built by Emperor Otto is particularly handsome. There used to be a fortified castle surrounded by fishers' huts like a village or some other open Bourg in Magdeburg. However, there used to be burgraves here as in Nuremberg: whether they were Saxons or Vandals is uncertain. However, it is known that after Otto, a burgraviate was created by Imperial mandate and numbered amongst the four burgraves in the empire."

In this plan view seen from a lofty bird's-eye perspective, Magdeburg - the name is probably derived from 'Magadoburg" (Ger. mächtige Burg, "mighty fortress") - lies on the right bank of the Elbe. The Gothic cathedral of SS Maurice and Catherine is recognizable on the right (Der Dom). Further left is the ensemble of St John's church, where Martin Luther preached in 1524, and the town hall overlooking the Alter Markt, the old market square on which it is also possible to make out the famous equestrian statue of the Magdeburg Knight and a Magdeburg Roland statue. (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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Magdeburgum a venere quae hic quondam colebatur parthenopolis dicta, Metropolitica Saxoniae Urbs, opibus & authoritate memorabilis, peraugusto murorum ambitu, & Albis fluvij vicinitate illustris.

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Item Number:  25498
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #2564; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.89; Fauser - #8272

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

Title: Magdeburgum a venere quae hic quondam colebatur parthenopolis dicta, Metropolitica Saxoniae Urbs, opibus & authoritate memorabilis, peraugusto murorum ambitu, & Albis fluvij vicinitate illustris.
Cum Privilegio.

Date of the first edition: 1572.
Date of this map: 1577.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 320 x 440mm (12.6 x 17.32 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.
References: Van der Krogt 4, #2564, State 2 (with privilege bottom right); Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.89; Fauser, #8272

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Köln, Gottfried von Kempen, 1577. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Magdeburg was called Parthenopolis (virgin city) after Venus, who was once worshipped here: it is the capital of Saxony, remarkable for its wealth and power and known for its narrow city walls and its proximity to the Elbe.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Magdeburg [...] is the noblest city in Saxony [...]. Here there are splendid houses, magnificent streets, large and richly decorated churches: the church of St Maurice built by Emperor Otto is particularly handsome. There used to be a fortified castle surrounded by fishers' huts like a village or some other open Bourg in Magdeburg. However, there used to be burgraves here as in Nuremberg: whether they were Saxons or Vandals is uncertain. However, it is known that after Otto, a burgraviate was created by Imperial mandate and numbered amongst the four burgraves in the empire."

In this plan view seen from a lofty bird's-eye perspective, Magdeburg - the name is probably derived from 'Magadoburg" (Ger. mächtige Burg, "mighty fortress") - lies on the right bank of the Elbe. The Gothic cathedral of SS Maurice and Catherine is recognizable on the right (Der Dom). Further left is the ensemble of St John's church, where Martin Luther preached in 1524, and the town hall overlooking the Alter Markt, the old market square on which it is also possible to make out the famous equestrian statue of the Magdeburg Knight and a Magdeburg Roland statue. (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.