Architektura civilis literally means civic architecture. This book thus describes the architecture of public, urban buildings. It was therefore aimed primarily at architects or very interested citizens. The book itself consists of texts and many illustrations that underline the text. It also focuses on the old Italian style of architecture.
The book is divided into three chapters and these in each case into many subtopics. The first chapter is about palaces, houses and gardens. In the second chapter it is about religious buildings. From churches, chapels and places of worship to altars. The third chapter is about nursing homes and hospitals.
In the individual chapters, the respective type of house is discussed and what must be taken into account in order to fulfill the functions in the best possible way. Attached are sample images of elevations, sections and floor plans. In a later part of the book, organic forms for decorative elements are discussed, which I found very fascinating.
The book itself is very thick and also rich in information each chapter has entwa 100 pages packed with meaningful text and pictures. It is probably so long because the topics were very important for the time and need a detailed description. Especially the theme of the houses of worship.
The author Joseph Furttenbach was a German architect, mathematician, mechanic and chronicler. Among other things, he was responsible for the fortifications, gardens, theaters and a hospital in Ulm.His house in Ulm, together with its garden with grottoes and fountains, was an attraction of the city, visited by numerous travelers.
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Reading your post, I realized that Joseph Furttenbach seems to have had a certain pattern writing his books. The aspects you describe can be easily compared to the book ascribed to me (“Newes Itinerarium Italiae” from 1627). In both books, he writes about the old style of Italian architecture, though in yours, he looks at it from the outside and in mine he writes from the eyes of a (well-educated) tourist traveling around Italy and noting down obvious aspects.
Just as you described, he uses a mixture of illustrations and text, both supporting one another.
Since your book appears very thick, one could say it is the “pioneer” or the base of information for “Newer Itinerarium Italiae”, which is a compact book, used as a travel guide.