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 striking bird's eye plan of the city of Douai shows the fortified city surrounded by walls and a canal. The plan is adorned with a strapwork title cartouche at top right balanced by a gentleman and lady at bottom left. German text on verso.
References: Fussel, p. 227; Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #1123.
A nice impression on a watermarked sheet with minor toning and two small holes in the image along the centerfold.