Antique engraved view of Palmanova, Italy, by Matthaus Merian.
The map has exceptional detail within the fortified city walls, showing all buildings pictorially.
Palmanova, in the northeastern Italian region of Friuli, is a fascinating symmetrically-planned city. Founded in 1593 by the Venetian Republic, it was built to commemorate the Battle of Lepanto twenty years earlier. Designed as a fortress in a nine-pointed star, it was planned as having several stages of fortifications. The innermost ring took thirty years to complete, and the outer lines wouldn't be finished until the Napoleonic era.
The city, built on the humanist ideals of the Renaissance, proved to be a complete failure. It was unable to be self-sustaining and the Venetian government was forced to offer criminals pardons and plots of land to move there.