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.
This sheet features bird's-eye views of four Frisian towns. At top left is a view of Bolsward, with its sparse fortifications and two prominent churches. Stavoren, the oldest town in Friesland, is shown at top right. A castle surrounded by a moat and fortifications can be seen in the north. At bottom left is Harlingen, which also features a castle protected by bulwark and moat. Hindeloopen appears at bottom right, with nice detail of the town's canals. Jacob van Deventer was the source for all four of these views. German text on verso.
References: Fussel, p. 292.
There are two small holes and color offsetting around the centerfold.