Today we are sharing some of our town and city plan maps. These more localized maps are fantastic because they allow viewers to see the development and organization of a city. Information on local customs, the local economy, and even appearance of buildings can be gained by looking at these large-scale plans.
The majority of city plans are scaled representations of the area, as viewed from directly above. An extension of early surveying techniques for estate plans and engineering plans, city plans offer a more precise awareness of an area, providing to be very beneficial. Alternatively, some city plans feature an oblique, or bird’s eye, view. This combination of panoramas and traditional city plans allow both cartographic and pictorial detail to be shown, and are very collectible.
Many city plans were specifically designed as such, however there are some plans, like the famous city plans of English, Welsh, and Irish countries by John Speed, which were incorporated as insets on more general maps. Despite their secondary importance in the atlas, some of these plans were the first cartographic depictions of the cities, and are thus historically important.
Below are a sampling of foreign city plans currently in our inventory. Enjoy!
Pianta Della Citta di Roma, con la Indicazione di tutte le Antichita e Nuovi Abbellimenti. An engraving by Pietro Ruga, published by Venanzio Monaldini in 1823. A beautifully engraved large-scale map of Rome. Along the sides are 16 vignette views of important locations and buildings within the city. Some are of Roman ruins, including the Pantheon of Agrippa, Trajan's Column, Pyramid of Cestio and the Coliseum. In the lower right is a key to the 14 neighborhoods of the city.
Broad Street Ward Divided into Parishes according to a New Survey. A copper engraving by B.Cole. Published by T.Osborne and J Shipton, in London, 1756. The London ward map is decorated with building vignettes and decorative cartouches. From William Maitland's "The History of London from Its Foundation to the Present Time."
Le Plan de Paris. A copper engraving by Matthew Seutter, published by Tobias Conrad Lotter, c.1760. A superb and detailed plan of Paris, with streets, gardens, neighborhoods and landmarks depicted and named. The Palais de Tuileries, Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral all appear. The Left Bank is in the foreground, below the Seine River. At lower left is a key to major churches, palaces and other sites.
Oxfordshire described with ye Citie and the Armes of the Colledges of ye famous University Ao. 1605. A copper-plate engraving by John Speed, engraved by Jodocus Hondius, and published by John Sudbury and George Humbell in London, 1611. One of the most desirable of all Speed county maps, this map is enhanced with a town plan of Oxford drawn from the 1578 plan by Ralph Agas, coats-of-arms for the various university colleges down the sides, the British coat-of-arms, and two robed dons flanking a globe at bottom.
Ierusalem, cum Suburbiis, Prout Tempore Christi Florint. Copper engraving by Matthew Seutter. Published by Tobias Conrad Lotter in 1756. This is an imaginary aerial (bird's eye) plan of ancient Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ. It is based upon the 1584 plan by Christian van Adrichom. Below is an extensive 254-item identification key and explanatory text in German.
Plan de Jedo. Copper engraving by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, 1765. This is a detailed city plan of Tokyo, Japan. Bellin was the famed French hydrographer commissioned by the King of France to chart the known coasts and ports of the world for the French Navy.
Hagae Comitis Celeberrimi Totius EUROPAE Municipy Typus. A copperplate engraving by Braun and Hogenburg, c.1580. A beautiful view of The Hague, the international capital of the Netherlands. With an 18-item key to major sites at right. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg's "Civitatus Orbis Theatrum," considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th century.
Berlin. A plan of Berlin, Germany, drawn and engraved by J. Dower. Published by William Orr, London, 1836. Details include a 31-item reference key and a view from the suburbs.