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.
A lovely pair of views depicting Iraklion and Corfu on the island of Crete. For centuries Iraklion was known as Candia; a name that was eventually applied to the whole island. The upper view illustrates the Venetian fortifications of the city and the important shipping port. Below, the new fortifications of Corfu are well-described, with cannons firing on a flotilla of attacking Turkish ships. Crete was strategically important in the Eastern Mediterranean as it controlled the maritime routes and access to the Adriatic Sea. Corfu's central location controlled the whole channel between the island and the continent and thus was besieged by the Ottomans numerous times during the Venetian Era. French text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 194-95.
A clean and bright example with a professionally repaired centerfold separation at top and a few small abrasions at top near the centerfold.