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Abraham Ortelius: Namurcum

Map: BELUX853
Cartographer: Abraham Ortelius
Title: Namurcum
Date: 1592
Published: Antwerp
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: BELUX853
Splendid Dutch Golden Age map of the historical County of Namur in Belgium. Latin descriptive text on verso. Original hand-colour.

The town of Namur, currently the capital of the region of Wallonia, has been a strategic fortification since at least Roman times. Through the centuries it has variously been held by the Belgians, the Dutch, the French, the Spanish, the Austrians, and the Germans. Ortelius in his atlas describes the county thus:

"neither mountainous nor plain, but raises here and there up to small hills and sinks down to valleys. The woods, of which the largest is called Martelange, yield plenty of game for gentlemen. It abounds with things necessary for a man's life."

The map's geographic source is an unpublished manuscript map of Luxembourg by Jacques Surhon from 1555. Ortelius credits Surhon above the crest of Namur in the lower-right corner of the map.