Weissenburg mit umbligender Landschafft/ auff das aller fleissigst nach aller Gelegenheit und Contrafactur ( Wissembourg)

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Article ID EUF1083


Weissenburg mit umbligender Landschafft/ auff das aller fleissigst nach aller Gelegenheit und Contrafactur ( Wissembourg)


Map shows the town of Wissembourg in Alsace with the St. Peter and Paul Church.


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 community of Weißenburg developed from a steadily growing settlement around a monastery founded in the 7th century, which soon gained importance and became an abbey. From 1306 to 1697 Weißenburg was an imperial city. It belonged to the ten-town confederation of Alsatian imperial towns founded in 1354. In 1440, the Weissenburg citizen Eikhart Artzt began writing down his "cronick" of the town. In 1522, the Reformation was introduced by Heinrich Motherer, the pastor of St. John's Church, and Martin Bucer. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, large parts of Alsace came under French rule, and France was also granted the bailiwick over the Alsatian League of Ten Towns. With his reunion policy, Louis XIV had the ten towns conquered in 1673 and 1674, had their fortifications ground down, and placed them under French provincial administration. In the Peace of Rijswijk in 1697, France had to return all the conquests and reunions of the previous wars outside Alsace, but thus finally received the rule over Strasbourg. With the French Revolution, the integration into the modern administrative and legal system of the country took place.

Place of Publication Basle
Dimensions (cm)28 x 38 cm
ConditionUpper margin and in the middle, some restoration
Coloringoriginal colored


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