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Lisbona. Olisipo ... vulgo Lisbona Florentissimum Portugalliae Emporiv. [on sheet with] Cascale Lusitaniae Opp..[LISBOA & CASCAIS].
Selling price: $750
Sold in 2021
In the city, castles, churches, port buildings, and citizens can all be seen. Few, if any, of the buildings shown in this map survive to the present day due to a 1755 earthquake leveling much of the city.
Further down the Tagus from Lisbon lie two smaller towns, Cascais and Belem, as they are now known, both pictured in the lower map. These were successful trading and fishing cities, who used their proximity to Lisbon to their advantage. Belem was also particularly popular with royals, and the building the town appears to be built around was likely a royal palace or monastery.
The tower on an island in the Tagus predates that which was built by Peter II in the late 17th century. At present, almost all the region shown in this second map is occupied by the suburbs of Lisbon.
LISBON. TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Olisippo, or as can be read in inscriptions on ancient stones, Ulysippo, commonly known as Lisbon, is a flourishing trade center in Portugal.
COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Lisbon can be counted amongst the oldest Spanish cities. Originally founded on a high hill on the banks of the Tejo, the city now covers numerous mountains and valleys. On this site can be found an old and rambling royal palace, magnificently decorated: to the north lies an important convent belonging to the Poor Clares, somewhat secluded on the River Tejo."
Lisbon's appearance in second place in the Civitates is certainly no accident since by the start of the 16th century Lisbon already numbered 350,000 inhabitants and thus ranked amongst the largest of all the most famous cities. The densely packed houses in the engraving underline this fact.
Emphasis is also placed upon the harbor and shipyards, highlighting Lisbon's importance as a cosmopolitan center of trade. Lisbon was the Portuguese city that profited the most from the expansion of the Portuguese global empire, which began in 1499 after Vasco da Gama's voyages of discovery and led to the colonies in Asia and South America.
Pope Alexander VI also underlined Portugal's importance with the coronation of Manuel I as "Lord of the conquest, navigation and commerce of India, Ethiopia, Arabia and Persia."
CASCAIS AND BELÉM. COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "North of Lisbon lies the town of Cascale, which is particularly suitable as a safe harbor owing to its natural position with many inlets, since the big ships can find a sheltered anchorage here during rough seas and can wait for a fair wind. [...] In a winding bay on the same shoreline lies the small town of Belém with a mighty church that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Cascais and Belém are two small towns in the vicinity of Lisbon. They are seen in a low, bird's-eye perspective from the sea. The fishing village of Cascais, today a tourist destination and a popular beach resort, lies on a bay on the Atlantic coast some 25 km west of Lisbon. Belém was incorporated into Lisbon in 1885 and lies to the west of the city center. The church of Santa Maria mentioned by Braun served the former Hieronymite monastery (Taschen).
The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully colored. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century.
Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI.
Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.
More about Braun and Hogenberg, Civitatus [+]
Reference: Van der Krogt 4, 2412; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.50.
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