Rare (unrecorded?) separately issued broad sheet map showing the fortications of Vienna and environs, depicting the town at the time second Ottoman Siege of Vienna in 1683, generally regarded as the turning point in the European War against the Ottoman Turks.
The plan shows Vienna and several outliying churches, estates, bridges, roads, and the Vienna and Danube Rivers. A note at the bottom reference "al tempo del Re Gi: Todeschi," a reference to Rossi's contemporary, Giovanni Todeschi.
In 1529, the Ottoman Turks launched the First Turkish Siege of Vienna. Protected by medieval walls, the city survived the Turkish attacks, until epidemics and an early winter forced the Turks to retreat. The siege had shown that new fortifications were needed. Following plans by Hermes Schallauzer, Vienna was expanded to a fortress in 1548. The city was furnished with eleven bastions and surrounded by a moat. A glacis was created around Vienna, a broad strip without any buildings, which allowed defenders to fire freely. These fortifications accounted for the major part of building activities well into the 17th century.
The capture of Vienna had long been an important strategic plan for the Ottoman Empire. Following the defeat in 1529, the Ottoman's spent many years preparing for a second attack on the city. In 1681 and 1682, domestic unrest in the region provided the Ottoman's with the opportunity to attack. Grand Viizier Kara Mustafa Pasha was able to convince Sultan Mehmet IV to move on Vienna. The Ottoman's began mobilizing for battle in early 1682 and war was declared on August 6, 1682. Over the next 9 months, KIng Leopold I was able to conclude a Treaty with John III Sobieski, King of Poland, which insured Polish support against the expected Ottoman attack on Vienna.
The Ottoman Troops reached Belgrade in May of 1683, before moving on toward Vienna, encamping 25 Miles east of Vienna on July 7, 1683. On July 14, 1683, the Ottoman forces attacked the City. A force of about 15,000 was left in Vienna to defend against 40,000 Ottoman troops. In August 1683, the Polish relief forces were deployed to Vienna. On September 6. 1683, the Poles under Jan III Sobieski crossed the Danube 20 miles north west of Vienna at Tulln, uniting there with the Imperial forces led by Charles V, Duke of Lorraine. Additional troops from Saxony, Bavaria, Baden, Franconia and Swabia answered the call for a Holy League that was supported by Pope Innocent XI.
After 2 days of battle, the combined European forces were able to repel the Ottomans and their Wallachian, Moldovian and Romanian allies. The victory at Vienna set the stage for Prince Eugene of Savoy's re-conquering of Hungary and (temporarily) some of the Balkan countries within the following years. Austria signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire in 1697. On December 25, 1683, Kara Mustafa Pasha was executed in Belgrade by order of the commander of the Janissaries.
A fine dark impression of this rare separately issued broadsheet map. We have not been able to locate any other examples of this plan.
Giacomo Giovanni Rossi (1627-1691) was an Italian engraver and printer. He worked in Rome, the heir to an important printing business founded by his father, Giuseppe de Rossi (1570-1639). Giuseppe began the press in 1633 and Giovanni and his brother, Giandomenico (1619-1653) took it over upon his death. The brothers expanded the business and by the mid-seventeenth century it was the best-known printing house in Rome.
For his maps, Giovanni worked with Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola. They produced the Atlas Mercurio Geografico. The first edition is undated, but the second was issued in 1692, a year after Giovanni’s death. The maps were by Cantelli. The firm also published maps based on those of Nicolas Sanson.
Later, the business passed to Lorenzo Filippo (1682-?). By 1738, the firm was known as Calcografia Camerale, then, from 1870 to 1945, as the Regia Calcografica. Today, the firm is still in business and is called Calcografia Nazionale. It operates as a free museum and offers one of the best collections of prints and plates in the world.