Maps of Europe
France And The Low Countries
Germany, Austria And Switzerland
Greece, Turkey And Mediteranean
In this Maps of Europe section we have many maps and city plans from throughout Europe. Maps in the collection have been produced by a wide range of cartographers over several hundred years.
With the invention of the printing press in Germany there was a profusion of local and regional maps produced during the 15th century. Nuremburg is also famous for its globes. The famous Ptolomy's Geographia was printed in 1482 at Ulm by Martin Walseemuller. Many of the famous cartographers of this time were German.
Maps of Europe
Braun and Hogenburg
Braun and Hogenburg's Civitatis Orbis Terrarum 1572 was published in Cologne. It contained more than 500 birdís eye view town plans of principal cities of Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
Alexander von Humboldt
In 1799 Alexander von Humboldt travelled in South America and his investigations and discoveries contributed greatly to German and European cartography.
Holland produced many well know cartographers. Included in the great names are Abraham Ortelius, Hondius, Blaeu and Waghenaer well known for his sea charts. In fact during the 16th and 17th centuries the Dutch were by far the leaders in maritime cartography. The Dutch East India Company was set up in 1619 to expand trade with Asia. They drove out the British and Portuguese from Indonesia, Malaya and Ceylon setting up their own colonies in South Africa.
In the mid 16th century the French explorer Jaques Cartier travelled to Canada and claimed the land bordering the St Lawrence River. Although France had many famous cartographers the development was a bit later than the rest of Europe. As Dutch maritime power declined at the end of the 17th century France became the geographical scientific centre. There were some beautiful atlases produced by Nicholas Sanson and the family businesses of Cassini, Jaillot and others. De L'Isle produced some excellent maps of Africa and America and Bellin was famous for his sea atlases.
The first sea charts were the Italian Portolan maps used in the Mediterranean from the early 14th century. Although the Spanish Catalan map took supremacy in mapping for a while, under the Medici family Italy became the centre of arts and many world maps were produced there.
In 1400 a Florentine brought back a copy of Ptolomy's Geographia from Constantinople and opened up a new awareness of the world with many copies being translated and printed in the years following. Italy produced many famous cartographers probably the most noted being Giacomo Gastaldi whose techniques and style were widely copied.
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