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Aachen by Braun and Hogenberg

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Aquisgranum, or Aachen, situated on the borders of the territory of the Menapii, a very old imperial city.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The imperial city of Aachen lies between the Rhine and the Meuse on the border of the Duchy of Jülich and has become very famous for the first coronation of a Roman emperor and for the burial place of Charlemagne and the pilgrimage every seven years."

This plan of Aachen from a bird's-eye perspective appeared in 1582 in the new edition of the first volume. It is schematically surrounded by two elliptical city walls. The open marketplace, the Gothic façade of the town and the distinctive octagon with westwork and Gothic choir chapel of the cathedral can be seen exactly in the centre; the town houses on the other hand are miniaturized and the streets and squares are excessively wide for the sake of greater clarity. Aachen played a central role in the Holy Roman Empire. For this reason Braun emphasizes the "Heiltumsfahrt" (pilgrimage to the sacred relics), the construction of the palace and the Palatine chapel (c.800) and the hot sulphur springs, which had been appreciated earlier by the Romans. The Old High German word Ahha (Acha) means water; the Romans called the site Aquae Grani, later Aquisgranum, after Grannus, the god of healing. Thirty-two kings were crowned in Aachen, the last being Ferdinand I in 1531. (Taschen).


The Blaeus: Willem Janszoon, Cornelis & Joan

Willem Jansz. Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu are the most widely known cartographic publishers of the seventeenth century.

Willem Jansz. (also written Guilielmus Janssonius) = Willem Janszoon Blaeu, was born in Uitgeest (Netherlands), near Alkmaar in 1571. He studied mathematics under Tycho Brahe and learned the theory and practice of astronomical observations and the art of instrument- and globe making.

In 1596 he came to Amsterdam where he settled down as a globe-, instrument- and map-maker. He published his first cartographic work (a globe) in 1599 and probably published his first printed map (a map of the Netherlands) in 1604. He specialized in maritime cartography and published the first edition of the pilot guide Het Licht der Zeevaert in 1608, and was appointed Hydrographer of the V.O.C. (United East India Company) in 1633. After thirty years of publishing books, wall maps, globes, charts and pilot guides, he brought out his first atlas, Atlas Appendix (1630). This was the beginning of the great tradition of atlas-making by the Blaeus.

In 1618 another mapmaker, bookseller and publisher, Johannes Janssonius established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu's shop. It is no wonder that these two neighbours, who began accusing each other of copying and stealing their information, became fierce competitors who did not have a good word to say about each other. In about 1621 Willem Jansz. decided to put an end to the confusion between his name and his competitor's, and assumed his grandfather's sobriquet, 'blauwe Willem' ('blue Willem'), as the family name; thereafter he called himself Willem Jansz. Blaeu.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu died in 1638, leaving his prospering business to his sons, Cornelis and Joan. Of Cornelis we only know that his name occurs in the prefaces of books and atlases until c. 1645.

Joan Blaeu, born in Amsterdam, 1596, became partner in his father’s book trade and printing business. In 1638 he was appointed his father’s successor in the Hydrographic office of the V.O.C. His efforts culminated in the magnificent Atlas Major and the town-books of the Netherlands and of Italy – works unsurpassed in history and in modern times, which gave eternal fame to the name of the Blaeus.

On February 23, 1672, a fire ruined the business. One year later, Dr. Joan Blaeu died. The fire of 1672 and the passing away of the director gave rise to a complete sale of the stock of the Blaeu House. Five public auctions dispersed the remaining books, atlases, copperplates, globes, etc., among many other map dealers and publishers in Amsterdam. The majority was acquired by a number of booksellers acting in partnership.

In the succeeding years, the remaining printing department was left in the hands of the Blaeu family until 1695 when also the inventory of the printing house was sold at a public auction. That meant the end of the Blaeus as a printing house of world renown.

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Aquisgranum, vulgo Aich, ad Menapiorum fines, perantiqua Imperij Urbs, Monumento Caroli Magni, ... - Joan Blaeu.

€550  ($638 / £500.5)
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Item Number:  22309
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

Old bird's-eye view plan of Aachen by Braun and Hogenberg, after Hendrick Steenwijck.

Copper engraving
Size: 32.5 x 38.5cm (12.7 x 15 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 3 state 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.69.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 1. Köln, 1572-1624. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Aquisgranum, or Aachen, situated on the borders of the territory of the Menapii, a very old imperial city.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The imperial city of Aachen lies between the Rhine and the Meuse on the border of the Duchy of Jülich and has become very famous for the first coronation of a Roman emperor and for the burial place of Charlemagne and the pilgrimage every seven years."

This plan of Aachen from a bird's-eye perspective appeared in 1582 in the new edition of the first volume. It is schematically surrounded by two elliptical city walls. The open marketplace, the Gothic façade of the town and the distinctive octagon with westwork and Gothic choir chapel of the cathedral can be seen exactly in the centre; the town houses on the other hand are miniaturized and the streets and squares are excessively wide for the sake of greater clarity. Aachen played a central role in the Holy Roman Empire. For this reason Braun emphasizes the "Heiltumsfahrt" (pilgrimage to the sacred relics), the construction of the palace and the Palatine chapel (c.800) and the hot sulphur springs, which had been appreciated earlier by the Romans. The Old High German word Ahha (Acha) means water; the Romans called the site Aquae Grani, later Aquisgranum, after Grannus, the god of healing. Thirty-two kings were crowned in Aachen, the last being Ferdinand I in 1531. (Taschen).


The Blaeus: Willem Janszoon, Cornelis & Joan

Willem Jansz. Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu are the most widely known cartographic publishers of the seventeenth century.

Willem Jansz. (also written Guilielmus Janssonius) = Willem Janszoon Blaeu, was born in Uitgeest (Netherlands), near Alkmaar in 1571. He studied mathematics under Tycho Brahe and learned the theory and practice of astronomical observations and the art of instrument- and globe making.

In 1596 he came to Amsterdam where he settled down as a globe-, instrument- and map-maker. He published his first cartographic work (a globe) in 1599 and probably published his first printed map (a map of the Netherlands) in 1604. He specialized in maritime cartography and published the first edition of the pilot guide Het Licht der Zeevaert in 1608, and was appointed Hydrographer of the V.O.C. (United East India Company) in 1633. After thirty years of publishing books, wall maps, globes, charts and pilot guides, he brought out his first atlas, Atlas Appendix (1630). This was the beginning of the great tradition of atlas-making by the Blaeus.

In 1618 another mapmaker, bookseller and publisher, Johannes Janssonius established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu's shop. It is no wonder that these two neighbours, who began accusing each other of copying and stealing their information, became fierce competitors who did not have a good word to say about each other. In about 1621 Willem Jansz. decided to put an end to the confusion between his name and his competitor's, and assumed his grandfather's sobriquet, 'blauwe Willem' ('blue Willem'), as the family name; thereafter he called himself Willem Jansz. Blaeu.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu died in 1638, leaving his prospering business to his sons, Cornelis and Joan. Of Cornelis we only know that his name occurs in the prefaces of books and atlases until c. 1645.

Joan Blaeu, born in Amsterdam, 1596, became partner in his father’s book trade and printing business. In 1638 he was appointed his father’s successor in the Hydrographic office of the V.O.C. His efforts culminated in the magnificent Atlas Major and the town-books of the Netherlands and of Italy – works unsurpassed in history and in modern times, which gave eternal fame to the name of the Blaeus.

On February 23, 1672, a fire ruined the business. One year later, Dr. Joan Blaeu died. The fire of 1672 and the passing away of the director gave rise to a complete sale of the stock of the Blaeu House. Five public auctions dispersed the remaining books, atlases, copperplates, globes, etc., among many other map dealers and publishers in Amsterdam. The majority was acquired by a number of booksellers acting in partnership.

In the succeeding years, the remaining printing department was left in the hands of the Blaeu family until 1695 when also the inventory of the printing house was sold at a public auction. That meant the end of the Blaeus as a printing house of world renown.