Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Mapped or Illustrated by Blaeu

World Heritage Sites which are the main or significant subject of a map or illustration by Joan or Willem Blaeu (with a link to a reproduction). Willem Blaeu (1571-1638) and his son Joan Blaeu (1596-1673) were Dutch cartographers. Willem conceived of the "Atlas Maior" (originally "Atlas Nova") - a comprehensive World Atlas based on the latest knowledge.

"He published his first world atlas, the Atlantis Appendix in 1630, in association with his eldest son, Joan Blaeu (c.1599-1673)....... The atlas contained some sixty maps. This work was expanded in 1631 to contain 98 maps and bore the joint imprint of father and son with the title Appendix Theatri A.Ortelii Et Atlantis G. Mercatoris. In 1634 he commenced publication of the Theatrum or Novus Atlas. This two-volume work was larger still with up to 208 maps. ...... in 1638 Willem Janszoon Blaeu died and control of the business passed to his son, Joan. " ( )
The World Atlas was eventually completed by Joan and went through various versions, with the last in 1665. In its largest version it consists of 11 volumes and 594 maps. Many of the maps however were originally published separately and used again and again in subsequent versions even though they dated back originally to the early 17th Century. Some of the maps contain illustrations/plans of towns or buildings either in their own right or as vignettes or pictorial inserts. "This breathtaking atlas represents the zenith of the Golden Age of Dutch Cartography.......The "Atlas Maior" was such a symbol of status that it became the traditional state gift presented by the Dutch government, its prestige owing to the remarkable standards of production involved. In terms of the quality of engraving, beauty of ornament, coloring, typography and paper, the atlas has no equal, and the maps were on the forefront of geographical knowledge and discovery..... The atlas of America, too, occupies a singular place in the history of cartography, for its twenty-three maps helped to shape contemporary conceptions regarding the geography of the New World more than almost any other source. Included in that volume is a general map of the continent, famed for its side panels that contain costumed figures and city views" (AbeBooks) . In 1649 Joan Blaeu also produced a collection of Dutch city maps known Tooneel der Steeden (Views of Cities). Joan Blau wanted to produce a 2 part multi-volume Italian City Atlas to be called "Civitates Italiae" and "Admiranda Urbis Romae" but only managed to produce the first volume of each in 1663 before a fire destoyed his workshop in 1672. However work on publication continued with Blaeu's heirs using his plates and producing 4 volumes in 1704/5.

The connection belongs to Individual People connections.

Connected Sites


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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source