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Gorlitz, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1576

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Görlitz, city in Upper Lusatia, drawn true to nature in 1575. 

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Görlitz is a splendid city in Upper Lusatia; it is adorned with many very beautiful buildings and well fortified with walls and moats, but the ground on which it lies is uneven and mountainous. The River Neisse flows through the city, which is of great advantage to the millers, brewers, dyers and other artisans. Spanning this river is a great wooden bridge covered with a roof." 

Görlitz is shown from the east looking across the Neisse; the impressive silhouette of this city on the bank of the river is reproduced in detail, with its many church spires and magnificent half-timbered houses. On the right above the wooden bridge over the Neisse, which was roofed over in 1566, the city's landmark can be seen, the mighty late Gothic hall church of SS Peter and Paul, on the left the tall town hall and watchtower. The town prospered due to its location on an important trade route and received a municipal charter around 1200. It was granted the right to brew beer, the right to mint and issue coins, and staple rights for the woad plant (German indigo, principally used to produce blue linen), and reached the height of its political and economic power at the beginning of the 15th century. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, also known as 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, a skilled writer, wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572 and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg, a talented engraver, 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, who provided valuable geographical information. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used as references. Translations appeared in German and French, making the atlas accessible to a wider audience.

Since its original publication of volume 1 in 1572, the Civitates Orbis Terrarum has left an indelible mark on the history of cartography. The first volume was followed by seven more editions in 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599, and 1612. Vol.2, initially released in 1575, saw subsequent editions in 1597 and 1612. The subsequent volumes, each a treasure trove of historical insights, graced the world in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599, and 1606. The German translation of the first volume, a testament to its widespread appeal, debuted in 1574, followed by the French edition in 1575.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz, and Peter von Brachel, all of whom worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun, the author of the text accompanying the plans and views in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne, he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice, indicating his commitment to learning and intellectual pursuits. In 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree; in 1562, he received his Magister Artium, further demonstrating his academic achievements. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he continued his studies in theology, gaining a licentiate in theology. His theological background likely influenced the content and tone of the text in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, adding a unique perspective to the work.

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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Gorlitz - Gorlitium, Urbs Superioris Lusatiae, ad vivum delineata, Anno Salutis MDLXXV

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Item Number:  4057 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

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

Title: Gorlitz - Gorlitium, Urbs Superioris Lusatiae, ad vivum delineata, Anno Salutis MDLXXV.

Date of the first edition: 1575.
Date of this map: 1576.

 Copper engraving, made after a woodcut by Georg Scharfenberg, after the drawing by Joseph Metzker, 1565.  Printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 305 x 495mm (12.01 x 19.49 inches).
Verso: German text.
Condition: Uncoloured, light browning at centre.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Beschreibung und Contrafactur von den vornembsten Stetten der Welt. Dass ander Buch. Köln, 1576. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:2.2)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Görlitz, city in Upper Lusatia, drawn true to nature in 1575. 

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Görlitz is a splendid city in Upper Lusatia; it is adorned with many very beautiful buildings and well fortified with walls and moats, but the ground on which it lies is uneven and mountainous. The River Neisse flows through the city, which is of great advantage to the millers, brewers, dyers and other artisans. Spanning this river is a great wooden bridge covered with a roof." 

Görlitz is shown from the east looking across the Neisse; the impressive silhouette of this city on the bank of the river is reproduced in detail, with its many church spires and magnificent half-timbered houses. On the right above the wooden bridge over the Neisse, which was roofed over in 1566, the city's landmark can be seen, the mighty late Gothic hall church of SS Peter and Paul, on the left the tall town hall and watchtower. The town prospered due to its location on an important trade route and received a municipal charter around 1200. It was granted the right to brew beer, the right to mint and issue coins, and staple rights for the woad plant (German indigo, principally used to produce blue linen), and reached the height of its political and economic power at the beginning of the 15th century. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, also known as 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, a skilled writer, wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572 and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg, a talented engraver, 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, who provided valuable geographical information. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used as references. Translations appeared in German and French, making the atlas accessible to a wider audience.

Since its original publication of volume 1 in 1572, the Civitates Orbis Terrarum has left an indelible mark on the history of cartography. The first volume was followed by seven more editions in 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599, and 1612. Vol.2, initially released in 1575, saw subsequent editions in 1597 and 1612. The subsequent volumes, each a treasure trove of historical insights, graced the world in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599, and 1606. The German translation of the first volume, a testament to its widespread appeal, debuted in 1574, followed by the French edition in 1575.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz, and Peter von Brachel, all of whom worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun, the author of the text accompanying the plans and views in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne, he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice, indicating his commitment to learning and intellectual pursuits. In 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree; in 1562, he received his Magister Artium, further demonstrating his academic achievements. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he continued his studies in theology, gaining a licentiate in theology. His theological background likely influenced the content and tone of the text in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, adding a unique perspective to the work.

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 - 1579; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.182

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