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An Early View of Goa

Decorative and detailed birds-eye view of the city and harbor of Goa.

The map is based upon an earlier map by Jan Huygen van Linschoten. Linschoten served 6 years as the bookkeeper for the Archbishop of Goa (1583-89). While in Goa, as a result of his position, Linschoten had access to secret information, including the nautical maps that were well guarded for over a century. Misusing the trust in him, he began meticulously copying these maps. In 1587, the Archbishop of Goa died while on a trip to Lisbon to report to the King of Portugal, ending Linschoten's stay in Goa. He set sail for Lisbon in January, 1589, passing by the Portuguese supply depot at St. Helena island in May 1589.

In 1510, Goa was taken from the forces of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur by the Portuguese under the command of Affonso D'Albuquerque. In the 16th century, Goa Velha (Old Goa) was a thriving city known as 'the Rome of the East'. However, thanks to recurrent epidemics and challenges from the English, French and Dutch in the mid 17th century, the Portuguese capital moved to Panaji.

Pieter van der Aa Biography

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.