Topographia Gallilae – Martin Zeiller
Topographia Galliae – or as the full title states: „Beschreibung und Contrafaitung der vornehmbsten und bekantisten Oerter in dem mächtigen und grossen Königreich Franckreich : beedes auss eygner Erfahrung und den besten und berühmbtesten Scribenten so in underschiedlichen Spraachen davon aussgangen seyn auch auss erlangten Bericht- und Relationen von etlichen Jahren hero zusammengetragen in richtige Ordnung gebracht und auff begehren zum Druck verfertiget“ – was completed by the author Martin Zeiller in the year of 1655. As the full title rather explicitely implies the book mainly consist of one topic which is the documentation of the most famous and most beautiful places in the kingdom of france. The displayed places are described with text and copper engravings. The book is divided into various sections. On the first pages the author summarizes the political and geographical entities of the kingdom of france. This text-based part is then followed by the visualisation of the descibed places in rural france. After the rural parts, the focus switches onto the city of paris displayed by copper engravings. In the second part of the book the author continues by presenting the noblest and best-known places and squares in various provinces of the kingdom of france. Despite the generous dimensions of the book and its many pages the register most obviously is not complete. There is only a small selection of provinces, cities and places displayed. But given the natural limitation of the number of pages in a book at that time, it still is quite an impressive number of places that have been displayed in this book. Regarding the motive of the author it is only to speculate what exactly it could have been. In my humble opinion the author wanted to both display and conserve those places and buildings for the future.