by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg


Date of first edition:  1575

Date of this map: 1582

Dimensions (not including margins): 35,5 x 50,2 cm

Dimensions (including margins): 41 x 54 cm

Condition: Very good. Strong paper with minor browning. Wide margins. Centre fold as published.  Nice original colouring.

Condition rating: A

Verso: text in Latin

Map references: Van der Krogt 4, 473 (1st state; Taschen Br. Hog, p. 153.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II,  De Praecipuis, Totius Universi Urbibus, Liber Secundus, 1575 (first edition); Van der Krogt 41:1-3, page 16 (mentioned on verso)





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Besançon commented by Braun

“Besançon is a famous and splendid city in Burgundy and richly endowed by nature. The Doubs flows around the city, it is the capital of the county and is annexed to the Empire. It is so old that no mention of its founding can be found in the chronicles. […] Because of its fruits and its abundant grain, it is often called the breadbasket of Burgundy.”.

CAPTION: The Sequani called this city Vesontion, the French call it Besançon, and the Germans Byzantz.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Drawing of the very ancient and highly famed Besançon, city of the Sequani, which is held to be the founding city and capital of the Duchy of Burgundy in Celtic Gaul. … Cologne, 1575.

Taschen on Besançon

This plate of Besançon is a bird’s-eye view from a low angle, seen from the west and overlooking the Doubs. Julius Caesar conquered the city, called Chrysopolis (“golden city”) in Greek, in 58 BC and expanded it. A relic of Besançon’s Roman past, the Porte Noire, a Roman triumphal arch from the 2nd century, can be seen in the middle of the plate. The 16th century was an important phase in the city’s development, with the construction of the Palais Granvelle (today Musée de Temps) for Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, initially Charles V’s chancellor and later his minister of justice, the Tour de la Pelote, the Porte Rivotte, the town hall and the law courts. Today’s cityscape is characterized by the architecture of Sébastien Le Prestre, Marquis de Vauban.



Besançon lies the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in Eastern France, close to the Jura Mountains and the border with Switzerland. Te city was already important during the Gallo-Roman era under the name of Vesontio, capital of the Sequani, a Gallic tribe.  Historically, Besançon was the capital of The Franche-Comté, also known as the Free Countess of Burgundy and since the 14th century belonging to the realm of the Burgundian dukes in personal union.

Between 1598 and 1674 the city was disputed by the French and the Spanish Habsburgs. In 1674 French troops recaptured the city, which the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678) then awarded to France.

It was and still is an important location for the French army.

This bird’s-eye view was made after a view from Münster’s Cosmographia, 1572.A second state of this map, with minor modifications (mainly in text and cartouches) was published by Johannes Janssonius in 1657.

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