“Topopgraphia Galliae” or the full description – “Beschreibung und Contrafaitung der vornehmbsten und bekantisten Oerter in dem mächtigen und grossen Königreich Franckreich: beedes auss eygner Erfahrung und den besten und berühmbsten Scribenten so in underschiedlichen Spraachen davon aussgangen seyn auch auss erlangten Bericht- und Relationen von etlichen Jahren hero zusammengertragen in richtige Ordnung gebracht und auff begehren zum Druck verfertiget» – was written by the protestant German author Martin Zeiller and illustrated by the Swiss-German engraver in 1655. As the title states, the work of Zeiller describes and demonstrates the beautiful geographic landscapes of France, former Galliae. The most presentable and central places are beautifully demonstrated with help of copper engravings and described in smaller following texts. Which are all written in old German and the picture descriptions in latin – a normality in the 17th century.
The book is parted into different sections, in which he manifests political, geographical, social entities. All the regions are written down in a map legend later on in the book.
But there are not only images of landscapes and maps, which draw the readers attention, the title page is also quite impressive and also very important for the context of the following text, which describes the historical development of France, starting with the first King – the Frankish King Clovis I., who subjugated the last Roman ruler in Gaul – later France. The other King portrayed, is King of France, Louis XIV., who was reigning at that time.
Even though the book contains a large amount of information, it is rather small, which could lead to the next presumption – not all regions were yet documented by Martin Zeiller. However, he wanted do conserve the beautiful architectural structures and landscapes for the future generations.