Bologna – Bononia Alma Studior Mater

by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg

City o education and science


Date of first edition: 1588

Date of this edition: ca. 1588

Dimensions (not including margins): 33 x 50 cm

Dimensions (including margins)): 41,1 x 54 cm

Condition: very good. Sharp copper engraving printed on paper. Old coloured. Wide margins. Centre fold as published. Slight age-toning.

Condition rating: A

Map reference:  Van der Krogt 4, 523 (1st state); Taschen, Br. Hog., p. 334

From: Civitatis Urbis Terrarum (IV: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi), 1588. Van der Krogt 4,41:1.3; Koeman B&H4.

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Bologna commented by Braun (on verso):

“As for the other famous buildings, the town hall of Bologna is uncontestedly one of the most splendid buildings in all of Europe when one consider its beauty and size alone, without taking its age into account, especially since it is built of fired brick. In addition, there are many patrician houses here, which are handsome beyond compare and are described by Leander in his history of Bologna, for which there is not enough space here to do justice to them in a few words. The city boasts many high towers, of which the above mentioned Asinelli tower is one of the highest in Europe. […] Bologna was also presented with a particular adornment by Theodosius II. After the city had been destroyed by his father, he rebuilt it in AD 433 and granted important privileges to the university there.”

CARTOUCHE: Bologna, seat of the sciences.


Fortified with moats and walls, the city is seen from the north in this high bird’s-eye view. At the centre family towers, of which there were 180 in the Middle Ages, can still be seen. The largest building on the Pïazza Maggiore is the Palazzo Comunale with its three inner courtyards, which was intermittently under construction from 1287. The massive principal church, San Petronio, appears above to the right. The vast university complex is discernible in a 16th-century palazzo between two arterial streets. Settled in prehistoric times, Bologna was one of the most important Roman cities from the 2nd century BC. Power struggles in the Middle Ages between the leading patrician families had an adverse effect on the city, which was destroyed several times. From the early 12th century Bologna was celebrated for its university and its outstanding legal scholars. It rivalled Florence as a centre of humanism.

This plate is made after a copper engraving by Claudio Duchetti, 1582.


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