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Matthaus Merian: Das Landt Underwalden

Map: SWAS530
Cartographer: Matthaus Merian
Title: Das Landt Underwalden
Date: 1641
Published: Frankfurt
Width: 12 inches / 31 cm
Height: 8 inches / 21 cm
Map ref: SWAS530
Early bird's-eye view of the historic Swiss canton of Unterwalden, located on the southern shore of Lake Lucerne. It has since been divided into two cantons: Obwalden and Nidwalden. Unterwalden was one of the three founding members of the Swiss Confederacy in 1315, and this is charmingly commemorated on the map by the cartouche of three men swearing an oath. A previous owner has carefully noted in manuscript the identities of the three men and the cantons that they represented.

An index on the lower edge of the map lists places of note, including a curious "Drachen hole", or dragon's cave. This is a reference to a local folktale in which Struth von Winkelried, a local noble, killed a dragon which was said to have plagued the province of Unterwald in the year 1250. There is a small illustration of Winkelried battling the dragon beneath the dragon's cave, just to the right of Stanz.

Coloured. [SWAS530]