By: Braun and Hogenberg
Date: 1574 (Published) Cologne
Dimensions: 13.25 x 18.8 inches (33.7 x 47.8 cm)
This striking bird's-eye view of Venice appeared in the first atlas of cities, Civitates Orbis Terrarum, published by Braun and Hogenberg in Cologne starting in 1572.
This splendid depiction of the city shows it in all its magnificence, from its remarkable maritime prowess, signified by myriad seagoing vessels of different kinds, to its host of grand architectural edifices. Interestingly, the famous Rialto (#150), which at that time was the only bridge over the Grand Canal is depicted, along with the other 400 bridges over its 180 canals. The Rialto, originally a wooden bridge with many stalls and shops was replaced by a stone bridge in 1591.
St. Mark’s cathedral and piazza can be seen just left of center. Opposite St Mark's square lies the Island of San Giorgio with its monastery and church. Venice’s islands with their own imposing structures and concomitant industries are minutely detailed. Above the city is Murano, to where all Venice's glass-making workshops were moved in the 13th century for reasons of fire prevention. Ships, boats and Venetian gondolas fill the harbor. At the time the map was made Venice boasted a population of at least 150,000.
In the center along the lower margin, a procession of the Doge and various dignitaries is illustrated. Flanking this illustration are 153 numbered entries keyed to the view listing mainly palaces and churches. The city’s 35 principle canals are also listed in a separate table.