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Elisabeth Castellani Zahir, Johan W.F. Voogt and Johannes M.L. Ingen-Housz:

Henripolis: maps for a 17th-century town-planning project

Cartographica Helvetica 8 (1993) 3–8


Henripolis is the name of a city which was planned to be built at the northern end of the Lake of Neuchâtel. The project, dating to the beginning of the 17th century, was never realised. Initialised by protestant Dutch traders searching for a safe transit route to Italy, the idea grew for a transhelvetic waterway from Basel along the Jura to Lake Geneva with a large harbour at the shore of the Lake of Neuchâtel. Interested in founding such a trading centre was the Count of Neuchâtel, Henri II d'Orléans-Longueville, who would have named the city: Henripolis. To advertise the project, pamphlets had been printed in France, Holland and Germany.

For some time now, bibliographical research concerning maps, topographical prints and portraits published on 16th- and 17th-century pamphlets in Dutch collections has been conducted at the Faculty of Geography of the Utrecht University. This research within the 'Explokart' project does not simply aim at descriptive inventories, but also tries to obtain insight in the illustrative and informative function of this material in relation to accompanying text.

In the present paper the authors attempt to analyse the relation between map and text on the basis of the Henripolis pamphlet printed in Amsterdam in 1626 containing three maps attributed to the engraver Pieter van den Keere.

Bibliographic Note:

  • Also published as: Henripolis: Karten zu einem Stadtgründungsprojekt des 17. Jahrhunderts. Murten, 1993. (Cartographica Helvetica Sonderheft 4).

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