Old Map of Franconian Circle by Nicolaes Visscher II, 1690: Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Würzburg, Zwickaw, Slavkov Forest
Old Map of Franconian Circle by Nicolaes Visscher II, 1690: Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Würzburg, Zwickaw, Slavkov Forest
Old Map of Franconian Circle by Nicolaes Visscher II, 1690: Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Würzburg, Zwickaw, Slavkov Forest
Old Map of Franconian Circle by Nicolaes Visscher II, 1690: Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Würzburg, Zwickaw, Slavkov Forest

Old Map of Franconian Circle by Nicolaes Visscher II, 1690: Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Würzburg, Zwickaw, Slavkov Forest

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  • The model is holding the 16x20in (40x50cm) map

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This exquisite map, 'Circulus Franconicus: in quo sunt Episcopatus Wurtzburg, Bamberg et Aichstet', or in English, 'Franconian Circle: in which are the Bishoprics of Würzburg, Bamberg and Eichstätt', offers a fascinating glimpse into the political and geographical landscape of late 17th century Germany. Crafted by Nicolaes Visscher II in 1690, the map vividly portrays the Franconian Circle, a key division within the Holy Roman Empire, which today corresponds to a large part of modern Germany.

The map features several significant cities of the time, including Nuremberg, known for its pivotal role in the Holy Roman Empire and its beautifully preserved medieval architecture; Ingolstadt, a city with deep historical roots dating back to the 8th century; and Würzburg, the seat of the Bishopric of Würzburg, a spiritual and political power during the period. Zwickaw, another notable city, was an important center of trade, particularly for the mining industry, while the Slavkov Forest, known today as the Austerlitz Forest in the Czech Republic, is marked as a significant natural landmark.

This map also provides insight into the political divisions within the Franconian Circle. The Bishoprics of Würzburg, Bamberg and Eichstätt are clearly demarcated, each with its own unique characteristics and points of interest. Würzburg, for example, was known for its grand baroque architecture, while Bamberg was famed for its cathedral and Eichstätt for its university.

In the hands of Nicolaes Visscher II, one of the most renowned mapmakers of the Dutch Golden Age, the Franconian Circle comes to life with an extraordinary level of detail and precision. This map is not only a work of art, but also a historical document that offers a unique perspective on a fascinating period in European history. It is a perfect addition for collectors, history enthusiasts, or anyone with a deep appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship of antique maps.

Some of the significant locations shown on this map:

Bishopric of Würzburg

  • Würzburg: Known for its grand baroque architecture and the seat of the Bishopric of Würzburg. Historical name: Herbipolis.
  • Schweinfurt: An important center for trade and industry. Historical name: Sweinfurth.
  • Kitzingen: Known for its wine production and historical buildings.
  • Bad Kissingen: Renowned for its mineral springs and spa facilities.
  • Hammelburg: Known as the oldest winegrowing town in Franconia.

Bishopric of Bamberg

  • Bamberg: Famed for its cathedral and unique medieval architecture. Historical name: Babenberch.
  • Forchheim: Known for its fortifications and as a former royal palace.
  • Bayreuth: Famous for its annual Richard Wagner Festival. Historical name: Barev.
  • Coburg: Known for its fortresses and castles.
  • Kronach: Known for its well-preserved medieval old town.

Bishopric of Eichstätt

  • Eichstätt: Known for its university and baroque architecture.
  • Ingolstadt: A city with deep historical roots dating back to the 8th century.
  • Neuburg an der Donau: Known for its Renaissance castle.
  • Beilngries: Known for its traditional Bavarian architecture.
  • Weißenburg in Bayern: Known for its Roman history and archaeological finds.

Franconian Circle

  • Nuremberg: Known for its pivotal role in the Holy Roman Empire and its beautifully preserved medieval architecture. Historical name: Nürnberg.
  • Ansbach: Known for its margravial residence and rococo style architecture.
  • Erlangen: Known for its university and as a center for science and research.
  • Fürth: Known for its sustainable city planning and historical monuments.
  • Schwabach: Known for its gold beating craft and as the smallest independent city in Bavaria.

Notable natural phenomena and boundaries:

  • Main River: A major waterway in Germany, popular for river cruises.
  • Danube River: The second-longest river in Europe, flowing through several countries.
  • Steigerwald Nature Park: A large protected area with diverse flora and fauna.
  • Franconian Jura: A popular tourist destination known for its limestone formations and caves.
  • Boundary with Bohemia: The historical region of Bohemia is to the east, now part of the Czech Republic.

Notable historical events between 1600 and 1690:

  • The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648): A major conflict in the region which had profound effects on the population and landscape.
  • The Peace of Westphalia (1648): Ended the Thirty Years' War, leading to significant political changes in the region.
  • The Great Turkish War (1683-1699): This conflict involved the Holy Roman Empire, including regions in the Franconian Circle, against the Ottoman Empire.

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 gallery style black ash hardwood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. My standard frame is around 20mm (0.8in) wide.

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.

Six standard frame colours are available for free (black, dark brown, dark grey, oak, white and antique gold). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Most maps are also available as a framed canvas. The map is printed on matte (not shiny) canvas, stretched over a box frame, and then 'floated' within a simple wood frame. The end result is quite beautiful, and there's no glazing in front of your map.

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.

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 print and frame maps in 22 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, 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 The Unique Maps Co.

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.

Map ageing

I have been asked hundreds of times over the years by customers if they could buy a map that looks even older.

Well, now you can, by selecting Aged before you add a map to your basket.

All the product photos you see on this page show the map in its Original form. This is what the map looks like today.

If you select Aged, I will age your map by hand, using a special and unique process developed through years of studying old maps, talking to researchers to understand the chemistry of aging paper, and of course... lots of practice!

If you're unsure, stick to the Original colour of the map. If you want something a bit darker and older looking, go for Aged.

See some amazing examples of Aged maps.

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 4,000 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 020 3286 8802