GEORG BRAUN & FRANS HOGENBERG, Rhotomagus (Rouen), 1572 or later.

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Rhotomagus Galliae Lugdunensis etc.
Cologne: Frans Hogenberg, 1572 or later
Copperplate engraving with original hand-color
Paper size: 15 3/4" x 20 1/2"


 bird's-eye view plan of Rouen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

With a French key to locations. Two costume figures at bottom.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Rhotomagus, in French Rouen, city in Gallia Lugdunensis on the Seine.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "In hardly another city is the merchant community more experienced on water and on land as in this city on the Seine. The river accepts even the biggest ships thanks to the nearby sea, and trade can be conducted with the East and West, as far away as India. Amongst the most important buildings to be seen in Rouen is without doubt the bridge over the Seine, which was erected with such skill than one can pay only the highest tribute to the architect both for the structural planning and the execution, the more so given that it was an exceedingly complicated and dangerous work, since the construction was exposed to the tides. Nevertheless it was possible to erect this bridge with quadrangular components, with large and solid columns and flying buttresses, unusually tall and wide."

The bird's-eye view from the north conveys a clear impression of the city's layout and depicts the constructional progress on the bridge over the Seine in the foreground.The most prominent building is the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame (A), commenced in the 12th century on top of a former Romanesque structure. The cathedral, which today has seven towers, is shown here with only three: the Tour Saint-Romain, the Tour de Beurre in the Flamboyant style with an octagonal crown and the crossing tower. Not far away on the left stands the large astronomical clock (Gros Horloge, E). Above the cathedral lies the former Benedictine abbey of Saint-Ouen (I/H) and, on the right, the smaller Gothic church of Saint-Maclou (F). On Place du Vieux Marché (R) Joan of Arc was burned on 30 May 1431. (Taschen)