Beschreibung der Statt Würzburg/mit sampt den Fürstlichen Schloß

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Article ID EUD582


Beschreibung der Statt Würzburg/mit sampt den Fürstlichen Schloß


Bird's eye view of the Franconian city of Würzburg. Furthermore, depictions of coats of arms in the sky and an index within a cartouche at lower left.


ca. 1550


Münster (1489-1552)

Sebastian Münsters (1489-1552) is one of the famous cosmographers of the Renaissance. Its real importance in the field of cartography is based on its famous cosmography, which he published in 1544 with 24 double-sided maps (including Moscow and Transylvania). The material for this came largely from research and the collection of information from around 1528, which he initially only wanted to use for a description of Germany, but was now sufficient for a map of the entire world and ultimately led to a cosmography. He constantly tried to improve this work, i.e. to replace or add to maps. In the edition of 1550, only 14 maps were taken over from the earlier editions. The 52 maps printed in the text were also only partially based on the old maps. The great success of this cosmography was also based on the precise work of the woodcuts mostly by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Deutsch and David Kandel. It was the first scientific and at the same time generally understandable description of the knowledge of the world in German, in which the basics of history and geography, astronomy and natural sciences, regional and folklore were summarized according to the state of knowledge at that time. Cosmography is the science of describing the earth and the universe. Until the late Middle Ages, geography, geology and astronomy were also part of it. The first edition of the Cosmographia took place in 1544 in German, printed in Heinrich Petri's office in Basel. Heinrich Petri was a son from the first marriage of Münster's wife to the Basel printer Adam Petri. Over half of all editions up to 1628 were also published in German. However, the work has also been published in Latin, French, Czech and Italian. The English editions all comprised only a part of the complete work. Viktor Hantzsch identified a total of 46 editions in 1898 (German 27; Latin 8; French 3; Italian 3; Czech 1) that appeared from 1544 to 1650, while Karl Heinz Burmeister only had 36 (German 21; Latin 5; French 6; Italian 3; Czech 1) that appeared between 1544 and 1628. The first edition from 1544 was followed by the second edition in 1545, the third in 1546, the fourth edition in 1548 and the fifth edition in 1550, each supplemented by new reports and details, text images, city views and maps and revised altogether. Little has been known about who - apart from the book printers Heinrich Petri and Sebastian Henricpetri - were responsible for the new editions after Münster's death. The 1628 edition was edited and expanded by the Basel theologian Wolfgang Meyer. With Cosmographia, Sebastian Münster has published for the first time a joint work by learned historians and artists, by publishers, wood cutters and engravers. The numerous vedute are usually made as woodcuts. Sebastian Münster obtained his knowledge from the travel reports and stories of various scholars, geographers, cartographers and sea travelers. Long after his death, "Kosmographie" was still a popular work with large editions: 27 German, 8 Latin, 3 French, 4 English and even 1 Czech editions appeared. The last edition appeared in Basel in 1650.

Historical Description

The earliest mentions of the place name are found around 704 A.D., by the geographer of Ravenna, with the name Uburzis and mentioned in a document in 704 as castello Virteburh. Already in the 10th century an etymology was made in the form Herbipolis on the basis of Latin herba '(healing) herbs'. Würzburg would thus mean 'castle on the herb-rich place'. Ludwig the Pious granted the Würzburg bishops a customs privilege around 820, and the right to hold markets and mint coins in 1030. The marketplace frequented by long-distance merchants and wholesalers in the 10th century was located in today's Domstrasse. In 1188, Hohenstaufen farms and proprietary estates in the city and diocese of Würzburg were mentioned in a treaty between Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and King Alfonso VIII of Castile. The Prince-Bishop Julius Echter of Mespelbrunn was significant for the history of Würzburg. He founded the Juliusspital, reestablished the university and extended the fortress on the Marienberg as a Renaissance castle. He was known far beyond Würzburg as a counter-reformer and persecutor of witches. From 1631 to 1634, Würzburg was occupied by the Swedes, and after the Thirty Years' War and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the baroque, star-shaped expansion of Würzburg's fortifications took place, including the creation of new fortress and city gates. Under Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp II von Greiffenclau zu Vollraths and his successors, especially from the House of Schönborn, there were significant artistic and especially building activities from 1699. They still characterize the cityscape today.

Place of Publication Basle
Dimensions (cm)29,5 x 40 cm
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored


67.50 €

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