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Antique maps > europe > eastern europe > Antique map - bird's-eye views of Königsberg (Kaliningrad) & Riga bu Braun and Hogenberg
Die Furstliche Hauptt Statt Konigssbergk in Preussen. Mons Regius; Prussiae, ... - Riga, Percommode ad Duna Amnem Sita, Emporium Celebre, et Livoniae Metropolis - Braun & Hogenberg, 1599.
Two bird's-eye views on one sheet: Kaliningrad and Riga.
CARTOUCHE: Königsberg, a Prussian or Borussian city on the sea, beautiful residence of the prince.
COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Königsberg in Prussia is a most noble and famous city, which was founded in the year 1254 by the Teutonic Knights. Alongside their artisan activities, the citizens engaged first and foremost in maritime trade. They thereby dealt in grain, solid and liquid pitch, which the Germans call resin, as well as salt, flax, hemp, wax, wood and also in a great deal of honey and mead; this is a sweet drink that is made from honey and comes from Livonia."
Königsberg's location on the Pregel, shortly before it reaches the Vistula Lagoon on the Baltic Sea, is made especially clear in this combination of elevation and bird's-eye view directly from the south. The river separates the town of Kneiphof on the island from the Old Town (above) and the town of Löbenicht (in the west). With the founding of the Old Town in 1254 by the Teutonic Knights, the two other towns also sprang up, but remained independent until 1724. Within Königsberg proper, the Old Town church (Alt Steter Pfarkirch) can be seen on the left and, beside it to the right, the palace of the Teutonic Knights (Schlos) with its tall tower (Schlos thurn). In 1457 Königsberg became the primary residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights and in 1525 was incorporated into the Duchy of Prussia. On the Island of Kneiphof lie Königsberg cathedral and on the right the Albertina University (Collegium), founded in 1544 by Albert I, Duke of Brandenburg. Königsberg was completely destroyed in 1944/45. In 1946 Königsberg passed to Russia and was renamed Kaliningrad, and became the capital of the eponymous Russian exclave situated between Lithuania and Poland.
CARTOUCHE: Riga, conveniently located on the Daugava, celebrated centre of trade and capital of Latvia.
COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The capital of Livonia, Riga, like Danzig in Prussia, is called the most famous trade city by many nations. Like all of Livonia, it lies on a plain. The best-known and largest river in the region is the Daugava, which runs past the city like the Elbe past Hamburg. The Daugava rises in Ruthenia and flows into the Baltic Sea two miles from Riga. Thus the inhabitants and their neighbours are supplied with ample fish and crabs not only from this river but from the sea as well. Likewise they dispose of a great deal of game, which even the farmers are allowed to hunt, although it irks the nobility."
The view of Riga is presented from a fictional standpoint, looking across the Daugava from a southwesterly direction. The city's appearance has changed little today, even after its reconstruction. On the left is Riga castle, built by the Order of the Brothers of the Sword, followed by St James's, St Mary's cathedral and St Peter's. Between these last two, on Town Hall Square, lie the town hall (Das Rathaus) and the Schwarzhäupterhaus ("black heads' house"), the latter erected as a guildhall in 1334. After the arrival of German merchants in the 12th century, Riga was officially founded by Archbishop Albert of Livonia in 1201. It became a Free Imperial City in 1225 and a member of the Hanseatic League in 1282. (Taschen)
The two views are possibly derived from the views in Münster's Cosmographia, 1550.
Date of this print: 1599
Date of the first edition: 1581
Size: 36 x 41cm (14 x 16 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Nice old colour, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2011; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.249.
From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. . Liber tertius. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Koeman, B&H3)
Item number: 24058
Price: 1950 Euro
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