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Frankfurt am Main, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1599

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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Civitas Francofordiana ad Moe:.

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Item Number:  23930
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

Old map - bird's-eye view plan of Frankfurt am Main by Braun and Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Frankfurt is a unique city in East Franconia, or rather, at its extremity, lying on the Main, the most famous trade city in all Germany, very well known amongst all the peoples of Europe; the Roman Emperor is elected here by the most illustrious College of Seven, the Electors, and the fencing masters designated. [...] In his treatise on Germany, Franciscus Irenicus attests that he has seen in a monastery a description of Frankfurt in seven books, written by a deacon named Entrandus. Connected to Frankfurt by an elegant stone bridge is Sachsenhausen, a town of no ordinary magnificence. Frankfurt is surrounded by bulwarks, walls, ramparts and moats that are exceptionally well designed for defensive purposes.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The largest and most magnificent part of the city is called Frankfurt, the other Sachsenhausen, which is also surrounded by walls and moats. Frankfurt is a leading centre of trade not just in Germany but in Europe. For twice a year, before Easter, in the middle of Lent, and in autumn, large numbers of merchants come from Lower and Upper Germany and from many other parts of the world to the annual fairs here. Emperor Charles IV also had a particular liking for this city, and therefore he moved the election of the kings and emperors of the Romans to here and confirmed this in his Golden Bull."

An impressive bird's-eye view from the southwest of the powerful trade city of Frankfurt, in 1605 home to 20,000 people. St Batholomew's cathedral, coronation church of the German kings and emperors, stands on the hill at the core of the original settlement on the right bank of the Main. On the Römerberg hill further left, the Römer and Goldener Schwan houses served as the town hall from 1405 onwards; to their right lies the Gothic councillors' church of St Nicholas. Identified in the Sachsenhausen quarter are the church of the Magi (H. Drei Konig), which became Frankfurt's first Protestant church in 1525, and the house of the Teutonic Knights (Teutsch Hauss). Frankfurt had been established as an international trade-fair centre and city of commerce in the Middle Ages: its autumn fair had been running since the 12th century and the spring fair since 1330. By around 1600 the book fair in this publishing city had already assumed international proportions. Frankfurt's commercial and fair activities meant that countless different currencies were in circulation. Around 1585 exchange rates and rules of trade were introduced, in a move seen as marking the birth of the Frankfurt stock exchange. In 1147 Frankfurt was also assured a special position within the Empire, as the site of the election of German kings, a role officially confirmed by the Golden Bull of 1356; from 1562 to 1792 the coronation of the Emperor also took place in Frankfurt cathedral. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 47cm (12.9 x 18.3 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 1361, State 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.95.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

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.