The Battle that Saved Civilization
Scarce and finely colored map of the environs of Vienna at the end of the 17th century, published (as stated in the title) to reflect the recent battle between European and Turkish forces over the city. This copperplate engraving was produced by Nicolaes Visscher the Younger in Amsterdam.
The map shows the fortifications of Vienna and other towns along the Danube. The map is intricately detailed, preserving extensive detail of the vicinity of the city and the region of Lower Austria that surrounds it.
The map was published at a time when European attention was focused on Vienna for its role in its recent eponymous conflict. This two-month-long battle is often credited as the successful last stand of Hapsburg forces against invading Ottoman Turkish forces. Initially, the garrison to defend Vienna was quickly overwhelmed and had to retreat into the inner city to defend it, but an alliance between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth soon arrived to relieve the city. An ensuing battle was fought at Kalenberg (see just north of the city on the map), and the Ottoman forces were defeated. The Ottomans were forced to retreat for the next sixteen years, and this battle proved a turning point in the Hapsburg-Ottoman Wars.
Nicolaas Visscher II (1649-1702) was a prominent Dutch cartographer and publisher during the late 17th century. He was the grandson of Claes Janszoon Visscher and the son of Nicolaes Visscher I, both of whom were also renowned cartographers in their own right. After his father's death in 1679, Nicolaas Visscher II took over the family's map publishing business.
In 1680, he married Elizabeth Verseyl from Gouda, and in 1682, he obtained a new privilege from the States of Holland and West Friesland to protect his maps and publications from being copied. Visscher II continued the family tradition of producing high-quality maps, atlases, and globes, often with elaborate and decorative elements. He maintained the Visscher family's reputation for accuracy and craftsmanship in the competitive world of Dutch cartography until his death in 1702. After his death, his widow, Elizabeth, and later his son, also named Nicolaas, continued the business until around 1726.