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Münster, Osnabrück, and Wesel, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1577

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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Monasterium, Urbs in Media Westphalia Celeberrimi Nominis ... [on sheet with] Osnabrugum Elegans Saxoniae Opp. [and] Wesalia Inferior.

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Item Number:  18794
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

Old map with three bird's-eye views by Braun and Hogenberg: Münster, Osnabrück and Wesel.

MÜNSTER

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Münster, a city with a famous name situated in the middle of Westphalia, distinguished as a capital and a cathedral city; it is mentioned by Albert Krantz in his Saxonia, 1520.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Münster is a large and fortified city, capital of the province of Westphalia [...]. Although this city was destroyed by the Anabaptists, the walls torn down, the gates damaged by incessant bombardment and nothing left unscathed in the churches either, the city was nevertheless rebuilt and is now considered the most beautiful and strongest of all the other cities of Westphalia; the inhabitants live from trade and craft. [...] A good beer is also brewed here, which the people of Münster call Keute and which is very similar to the Hamburg beer."

The engraving shows a view of Münster from the southwest and devotes much attention to the surrounding countryside with its windmills and neat fields, as well as to the dramatic clouds overhead. The well-fortified city is hallmarked by its churches and steeples, including the Überwasser church on the left, the soaring cathedral of St Paul's in the centre, St Lambert's church on the right and St Ludgerius's church on the far right. In the foreground, Münster's fortifications include defensive works protecting the point at which the River Aa flows into the city. Münster was granted its charter in 1170 and joined the Hanseatic League in the mid-1300s. The city's economic prosperity during this period is reflected even today in its main market square, the Prinzipal-Markt. The Münster Rebellion of 1534/35, when Protestant Anabaptists temporarily took over the running of the city, was of particular significance: in June 1535, after a lengthy siege, the city was starved out and stormed by Bishop Franz von Waldeck. The Anabaptists were executed and - as a deterrent - their corpses displayed in iron baskets hung from St Lambert's steeple.

OSNABRÜCK

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Emperor Charlemagne built a church here in honour of SS Peter and Crispin. Osnabrück has two monasteries, conducts much trade and does a good business in grey cloth and linen, and lies in an attractive valley on the River Hase. Good beer is made here, called Büse. [...] Since Emperor Charlemagne particularly liked this city, he also granted it privileges: he ordered the building of a school in which Greek and Latin were taught."

Like those preceding and following it, the engraving of Osnabrück is seen from the relatively low perspecive of someone approaching the city, in this case from Klushügel hill. The view is dominated by the many churches: on the left St Peter's cathedral, whose two massive towers still hallmark the skyline today. In the centre, the late Gothic three-aisled church of St Catherine with its 103-m-high spire is the tallest medieval building in Lower Saxony. Osnabrück developed after AD 780 around the see created by Charlemagne. The city's name probably derives from the Lower Saxon words Ossen and Brügge, meaning "ox bridge". The Peace of Westphalia was concluded in 1648 in the late Gothic town hall.

WESEL

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The Cleves city of Lower Wesel, where the Lippe flows into the Rhine, is graced with wealth and renown, numerous buildings and flourishing commerce. [...] The city benefits greatly from the Rhine flowing past, which often alters its usual course and moves westward towards the sea and away from the city. [...] As a particular token of the charity of the highly esteemed and learned Heinrich Olichschleger the Elder, a hospital was built for elderly men in need, to whom he assures an annual living through his benevolence."

The view shows the city of Wesel from the south, at the point where the Lippe joins the Rhine. Clearly recognizable on the left is St Willibrod's cathedral, only recently expanded into a five-aisled church, and on the right the filial church of SS Nicholas and Antony, known as the Mathenakirche, after its location in the Mathena district. The boat with the bulbous hull in the foreground is based on Netherlandish ocean-going vessels and was suitable both for sailing and for towing (i.e. by horses or people towing the boat upstream). The home for the elderly mentioned by Braun and endowed by Heinrich Olichschleger in 1524 was one of the private foundations that typicallu housed six to twelve elderly people; in this particular case, the hospital accomodated twelve men and six women, in separate buildings. (Taschen)

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

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 46.5cm (13.3 x 18.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured., excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2902; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.80.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Köln, Gottfried von Kempen, 1577. (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.