View of Algiers, Seat of Power of the Saracens, in the Numidian Province of Africa and Situated on the Edge of the Balearic Current in the Mediterranean Sea, across from Spain, under the Princes of the Ottoman Empire


Shown here is one of the earliest printed maps of the city of Algiers. The map was created in 1575 by Georg Braun (1540 or 1541‒1622) and Franz Hogenberg (circa 1535‒90) and appeared in their Civitates orbis terrarum (The cities of the world), which was published in Cologne, Germany in six volumes between 1572 and 1616. The Civitates was an extraordinary cartographic achievement that consisted of more than 550 plans and views of cities from all the world as it was understood by Europeans at the time. Braun conceived the project and compiled the descriptive texts for each plate. The layout and scheme for the enterprise resembles the Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the world) by Ortelius, which was also engraved by Hogenberg. The title cartouche and notations on the map are in Latin, while the extensive legend is in Italian. The plate shows the formidably fortified town in a low bird's-eye view. Five mosques are marked, as are several synagogues, cemeteries, palaces, the prison, public baths, and other sites. A mustachioed figure in headdress and kaftan stands at lower left. Algiers was a thriving city under a series of Berber dynasties from the tenth to the 16th centuries. It came under Spanish influence from the early 1300s onward. In 1516 the Greco-Turkish pirate Kheireddin Barbarossa (1478–1546) established himself at Algiers, put an end to Spanish influence, and in 1529 accepted Ottoman sovereignty.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Philippe Galle, Cologne

Title in Original Language

Algerii Saracenorum vrbis fortiſſimæ, in Numidia Africæ Prouincia structæ, iuxta Balearicos fluctus Mæditerranei æquoris Hiʃpaniam contra, Othomanorum Principum jmperio redactæ, imago

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 35 x 49 centimeters

Last updated: January 17, 2017