"Aquisgranum, vulgo Aich, ad Menapiorum Fines, Perantiqua Imperii Urbs…", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Aachen, Germany
Period: 1582 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
15 x 12.6 inches
38.1 x 32 cm
Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.
Appearing in 1582, in the new edition of the first volume of the city atlas, this bird's-eye plan of Aachen shows the city surrounded by the original walls (built in 1711) and the outer walls (built from 1257 to 1357). The open marketplace, the Gothic facade of the town hall and the cathedral are shown in the center with town houses lining the wide streets and squares. The map is embellished with a title cartouche, two coats of arms, and costumed figures in the foreground. The banner in upper right bears the name of Hendrick Steenwijck whose plan this map was based on. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel p.69.; Goss (City) p.8.
There is a professional repair of the centerfold at bottom including a bit of skilled facsimile affecting the image from the neatline to the city wall.