Old Map of Lower Saxony by Visscher, 1690: Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Mecklenburg Elbe Valley
Old Map of Lower Saxony by Visscher, 1690: Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Mecklenburg Elbe Valley
Old Map of Lower Saxony by Visscher, 1690: Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Mecklenburg Elbe Valley
Old Map of Lower Saxony by Visscher, 1690: Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Mecklenburg Elbe Valley

Old Map of Lower Saxony by Visscher, 1690: Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Mecklenburg Elbe Valley

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Delve into the intricate details of the 'Circulus Saxoniae Inferioris', a meticulously crafted map by Nicolaes Visscher II, a renowned mapmaker from the Dutch Golden Age. This exquisite piece, dating back to 1690, is a testament to Visscher's cartographic prowess and keen eye for detail. It presents an accurate and comprehensive representation of Lower Saxony, a region that holds a significant place in the larger modern-day area of Germany.

The map's full name, translated into English, is 'The Circle of Lower Saxony: in which are the Duchies of Holstein, Mecklenburg, Lauenburg, Lüneburg, Brunswick, Bremen and Verden, the County of Dannenberg, the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, the Bishoprics of Hildesheim and Halberstadt'. This title encapsulates the breadth of regions and political divisions depicted in this map, offering a glimpse into the rich and complex history of these territories.

The five most notable locations featured in this map are Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, and the Mecklenburg Elbe Valley Nature Park. Each city is marked with meticulous precision, and the inclusion of the nature park highlights the diverse landscapes that make up Lower Saxony. The map's focus on these key landmarks, along with various other regions, provides a comprehensive view of Lower Saxony during the late 17th century.

Visscher's map is not just a geographical representation, but also a historical artifact that offers a unique perspective into the political divisions and territorial boundaries of the time. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a cartography lover, or simply a connoisseur of unique artifacts, this map of Lower Saxony by Nicolaes Visscher II is a captivating piece that will surely add a touch of elegance and historical depth to your collection.

Some of the significant locations shown on this map:

Duchy of Holstein

  • Hamburg: Known as the "Gateway to the World", it was a major port and member of the Hanseatic League. Historical name: Hammaburg.
  • Lübeck: Known for its Brick Gothic architecture and as the capital of the Hanseatic League. Historical name: Liubice.
  • Kiel: An important maritime city, known for the Kiel Fjord and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, Kiel Canal.

Duchy of Mecklenburg

  • Rostock: Largest city in Mecklenburg, it was an important member of the Hanseatic League. Historical name: Roztoc.
  • Wismar: Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Historical name: Wismaria.

Duchy of Lauenburg

  • Lauenburg: Known for its picturesque old town and the Elbe River. Historical name: Lowenborch.
  • Ratzeburg: Known for Ratzeburg Cathedral and its four lakes. Historical name: Racisburg.

Duchy of Lüneburg

  • Lüneburg: Known for its salt production and beautiful old town. Historical name: Hliuni.
  • Celle: Known for its castle and old town. Historical name: Kellu.

Duchy of Brunswick

  • Brunswick: Known for Brunswick Palace and its well-preserved medieval architecture. Historical name: Brunswiek.
  • Wolfenbüttel: Known for the Herzog August Library, one of the oldest libraries in the world. Historical name: Wulferisbutle.

Duchy of Bremen

  • Bremen: Known for its market square and the Bremen Roland statue. Historical name: Breme.
  • Bremerhaven: Known for its maritime museum and the Emigration Center. Historical name: Wesermünde.

Duchy of Verden

  • Verden: Known for its cathedral and as a horse breeding center. Historical name: Fardau.
  • Rotenburg: Known for its picturesque old town. Historical name: Rodenborch.

County of Dannenberg

  • Dannenberg: Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Historical name: Dannenberch.
  • Lüchow: Known for the Rundlinge, a unique form of rural settlement. Historical name: Leukon.

Archbishopric of Magdeburg

  • Magdeburg: Known for Magdeburg Cathedral, the oldest Gothic cathedral in Germany. Historical name: Magadoburg.
  • Halle: Known for its salt production and the Halle Market Church. Historical name: Halla.

Bishopric of Hildesheim

  • Hildesheim: Known for its historic churches and the thousand-year-old Rose of Hildesheim. Historical name: Himmelsthür.
  • Alfeld: Known for the Fagus Factory, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Historical name: Alvelde.

Bishopric of Halberstadt

  • Halberstadt: Known for its cathedral and the Halberstadt Domschatz, a significant church treasure. Historical name: Halagberstat.
  • Aschersleben: Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Historical name: Aschara.

Notable Boundaries and Natural Phenomena

  • Elbe River: One of the major rivers of Central Europe, it passes through several significant towns and cities, including Hamburg and Lauenburg.
  • Harz National Park: Located within the Duchy of Brunswick, it's known for its diverse flora and fauna.
  • Wadden Sea: A UNESCO World Heritage site, it's located in the Duchy of Holstein.
  • Kiel Canal: An important maritime passage in the Duchy of Holstein.
  • Lüneburg Heath: A large area of heath, geest, and woodland in the Duchy of Lüneburg.

Notable Historical Events (1600-1690)

  • Thirty Years' War (1618-1648): A devastating conflict that affected many of the regions depicted in the map.
  • Peace of Westphalia (1648): The series of peace treaties that ended the Thirty Years' War, significantly affecting the political landscape of the region.
  • Swedish-Brandenburg War (1675–1679): A conflict involving the Duchy of Mecklenburg, which resulted in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1679).

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16in (30.5x41cm), 16x20in (40.5x51cm), 18x24in (45.5x61cm), 24x30in (61x76cm), 32x40in (81.5x102cm), 40x50in (102x127cm), 48x60in (122x153cm) and 56x70in (142x178cm), but it looks even better when printed large.

I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 90in (229cm). Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x20in (40.5x51cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps of Europe and European cities to see if something else catches your eye.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a black wood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. On maps up to 36 inches (91cm) the frame is 2-3cm (0.75in to 1in) wide. I use thicker frames on larger maps - usually between 35 and 60mm (1.4in to 2.4in).

In all cases I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

A few different frame colours are available for free (black, brown, white and natural). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I have specialist printing and framing facilities in 17 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, extremely rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about how the Unique Maps Co. sources and restores old maps

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 1,500 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on (718) 412-1214

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