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Palacios - Alcantarilla - Cabecas by Braun & Hogenberg 1596-1640


Palacios [on sheet with:] Alcanerilla [and] Cabecas.


Item Number:  2048
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Spain and Portugal

Three views on one sheet: Los Palacios y Villafranca - Las Alcantarillas - Las Cabezas de San Juan Engraved after drawings by Georg Hoefnagel.


COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Los Palacios, a small town in Hispania Baetica, lies beside an ancient castle five miles from Seville, on the road that you take to Cadiz or San Lucar. In summer this road is so dusty that you can hardly find your way, but you need a compass like a seafarer in order not to get lost and suffocate from the great heat."

The view shows Los Palacios, situated south of Seville on the road to Jerez de la Frontera, with its fortress complex from the Moorish era. It was conquered by Ferdinand III of Castile (St Ferdinand) in the mid-13th century. One hundred years later Peter I of Castile, called the Cruel, built an new castle on the ruins of the fortress. In the 18th century Los Palacios merged with the neighbouring commune of Villafranca de la Marisma, hence its present name of Los Palacios y Villafranca. Hoefnagel and Maleparte can be seen riding past in the foreground.


COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Alcántara, in Spanish Las Alcantarillas, is a place with a bridge over the Palacios marshes. [...] This bridge was built by the Romans, to make it easier to cross the wet and boggy ground, and is famed for its height and wonderfully skilful construction. On one side of the bridge stands a mosque or an old heathen temple belonging to the Moors, which is now consecrated and always closed."

Hoefnagel's travel sketch shows Las Alcantarillas amidst marshland (Marisma) created by the Guadalquivir. The mosque (Mesquita) is visible on the far left, while the centre of the picture is dominated by the Roman stone bridge. Beyond the inn on the right is a glimpse of the large lake then still in existence. The name Las Alcantarillas derives from the Arabic "al-Qantara", meaning "bridge". In the left-hand background lies the goal of Hoefnagel and Maleparte's journey, Las Cabezas.


COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Las Cabezas de San Juan is a small town in Hispania Baetica and lies very near the above-named bridge of Las Alcantarillas at the foot of the mountains that run south towards Málaga. That it was formerly a large city is still amply demonstrated by its ruined walls."

On a hill not far from Lebrija, between Seville and Jerez de la Frontera, lies the small town of Las Cabezas de San Juan. The mountain on the left, captioned Sierras de Ronda, in fact lies substantially further away. The ruins mentioned in the text may well represent remains from the Iberian period: Hannibal built a number of defensive towers in Las Cabezas in the 3rd century BC. The artist has immortalized himself at work, seated on a rock in the foreground. (Taschen)

Signed and dated at bottom centre: Painted by Georg Hoefnagel in the year 1565.

Copper engraving
Size: 36.5 x 49cm (14.2 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2468; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.356.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 5. Köln, 1598.