“CALETUM” Georg Hoefnagel. Cologne: Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg from Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cities of the World), 1598. (Image: 12 ½ x 15 ¼’’)
Engraved map with later hand-coloring. Verso text: Latin. Ref: John Goss, The City Maps of Europe, pp.34-35 (illustrated).
Translation lower right: "Caletum or Calesium, in French Calais, gate of entry, fortress & key of France, came under the power of the Spanish King Philip in April of the year 1597". This bird's eye view depicts Calais from the south. Little remains of this historical city seen here due to the bombing of WWII. On the left is the citadel of Calais, built on the foundations of a medieval castle. In the center is the town hall. The Tour de Guet, a 13th century donjon is seen on the left, and the Church of Notre-Dame is on the far right.
Calais was first fortified in 997, & improved in 1224. It was in English hands following the Battle of Crecy in 1346, becoming a main port from 1363 to the time of English expulsion in 1558. The Spanish were in control 1595-97 it has since remained in French hands.
The Braun & Hogenberg maps were the first systematic collection of town views. The atlas covered the most important urban centers of the Renaissance world. The cities depict "a true celebration of European history, civilization and culture. The plates not only map the layout and particular features of each city with amazing accuracy, but they also illustrate local costume, occupations, manners and customs" (Goss: introduction).