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Georg Braun  &  Franz Hogenberg:  Damascus, urbs nobilissima ad Libanum montem Totius Syriae Metropolis:

Maps of the Holy Land

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Title: Damascus, urbs nobilissima ad Libanum montem Totius Syriae Metropolis:

Map Maker: Georg Braun  &   Franz Hogenberg

Place / Date: Cologne / 1588

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 14 x 12.5 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $795.00

Inventory ID: 43036


Striking town plan of Damascus from a Latin edition of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum first issued in 1588.

Shows the fortified walls of the City and various buildings, public squares and other places of interest, with costumed locals and camels in the foreground.

First settled in the second millennium BC, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. During Ottoman rule, the city decayed while maintaining a certain cultural prestige.

In early 1516, the Ottoman Turks, wary of the danger of an alliance between the Mamluks and the Persian Safavids, started a campaign of conquest against the Mamluk sultanate. On the 21st of September, the Mamluk governor of Damascus fled the city, and on the 2nd of October, the khutba in the Umayyad mosque was pronounced in the name of Selim I. The day after, the victorious sultan entered the city, staying for three months. On December 15th, he left Damascus intending to conquer Egypt. Little appeared to have changed in the city: one army had simply replaced another. However, on his return in October, 1517, the sultan ordered the construction of a mosque, tekkiye and mausoleum at the shrine of Shaikh Muhi al-Din ibn Arabi in al-Salihiyah. This was to be the first of Damascus' great Ottoman monuments.

The Ottomans remained in Damascus for the next 400 years. Because of its importance as the point of departure for one of the two great Hajj caravans to Mecca, Damascus was treated with more attention by the central government than its size might have warranted—for most of this period, Aleppo was more populous and commercially more important. In 1560, the Tekkiye al-Sulaimaniyah, a mosque and caravanserai for pilgrims on the road to Mecca, was completed to a design by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, and soon afterwards a Madrasa was built adjoining it.

Condition Description: Old Color. Minor repairs on verso.

Related Categories:
Maps of the Holy Land
Maps of the Middle East
City Plans & Views of Asian Cities