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Bergen-op-Zoom, by Braun and Hogenberg. 1599

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Bergen op Zoom, Brabantine town, named after the little River Soma (Zoom), which supplies it with water. It was once prosperous because of its fairs; today, however, due to its proximity to Antwerp, foreign merchants visit the city less.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Bergen is a beautiful and well-built town that lies on a small hill in the western part of Brabant, so close to the sea that it could also be called a coastal town. It still has a sizeable population but was much wealthier in earlier times, when the large annual fairs that brought it many benefits and freedoms were still held there."

Bergen op Zoom, which arose in the Middle Ages from the fusion of three small settlements on the Oosterschelde and was officially chartered in 1347, is seen here in a bird's-eye view. The town plan features three market squares: the main market, the fish market and the corn market. Also prominent in the circular historical centre is the basilica of Sint-Lambert. With its harbour (left) and fairs, the former fishing village of Bergen op Zoom rivalled Antwerp, situated to the south, as an important trade centre up to the beginning of the 16th century. The town went into decline until flooding in the hinterland and the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648). In 1577, as part of the Dutch Revolt, the Dutch took Bergen op Zoom and successfully defended it multiple times against attempts to recapture it by Spanish troops. Today the city has 65,000 inhabitants.

The engraving has been made after a design by Jacob van Deventer.


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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Bergen op Zoom - Berga, ad Somam, Brabantiae Opp: a fluvi olo sic dicto, ...

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Item Number:  24029 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > The Netherlands - Cities

Antique map - bird's-eye view plan of Bergen-op-Zoom by Braun and Hogenberg.

Title: Bergen op Zoom - Berga, ad Somam, Brabantiae Opp: a fluvi olo sic dicto, ...

Date of the first edition: 1581.
Date of this map: 1599.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 340 x 385mm (13.39 x 15.16 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Liber tertius. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Koeman, B&H3)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Bergen op Zoom, Brabantine town, named after the little River Soma (Zoom), which supplies it with water. It was once prosperous because of its fairs; today, however, due to its proximity to Antwerp, foreign merchants visit the city less.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Bergen is a beautiful and well-built town that lies on a small hill in the western part of Brabant, so close to the sea that it could also be called a coastal town. It still has a sizeable population but was much wealthier in earlier times, when the large annual fairs that brought it many benefits and freedoms were still held there."

Bergen op Zoom, which arose in the Middle Ages from the fusion of three small settlements on the Oosterschelde and was officially chartered in 1347, is seen here in a bird's-eye view. The town plan features three market squares: the main market, the fish market and the corn market. Also prominent in the circular historical centre is the basilica of Sint-Lambert. With its harbour (left) and fairs, the former fishing village of Bergen op Zoom rivalled Antwerp, situated to the south, as an important trade centre up to the beginning of the 16th century. The town went into decline until flooding in the hinterland and the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648). In 1577, as part of the Dutch Revolt, the Dutch took Bergen op Zoom and successfully defended it multiple times against attempts to recapture it by Spanish troops. Today the city has 65,000 inhabitants.

The engraving has been made after a design by Jacob van Deventer.


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 - 442; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.222