Navigating the Kingdom of Dalmatia -- A Bilingual early 18th Century Travel and Infrastructure Map of the Austrian Empire’s Riviera.
Rare map of the Kingdom of Dalmatia as a crown land of the Austrian Empire (1812-67).
The map features tables and legends in both Italian and German, at the pinnacle of the Austrian Empire, before its amalgamation with the Kingdoms of Hungary and Croatia in 1867.
While focused on Austria’s royal domain (outlined in green) the map extends out to show the de facto buffer-zones of Turkish Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro, with the lands of the great Ottoman Sultan at the furthest reaches. The detail is exceptional, showing many coastal islands, inlets, coves, and lagoons and other features in remarkable detail. The main part of the map is nevertheless the littoral and its associated infrastructure, including: cities, towns, castles, road-inns, monasteries, and post offices.
As the title suggests, the focal point of the map is the roads in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, including several tables in Italian denoting distances along three different types of roads (main roads, commercial roads, and provincial roads). The primary postal roads are shown in red. Other tables provide information regarding the main rivers (right) and lands subject to flooding (left). Throughout the map, territorial borders are marked in different colors.
The map's construction reflects a moment in time during the evolution of the region following the end of the Habsburg Monarchy (1804) and the consolidation of the region following the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. The newly formed Austrian Empire was at the time and important Central European entity, governing multiple ethnicities, nationalities and languages.
Dalmatia's infrastructure was critical to the Austrian Empire, as it was the Empire's only access point to the sea and its only prospect for seaports and trade. At the same time, Dalmatia was becoming one of Europe's first coastal tourism destinations, especially for landlocked nations in the region.
The map is extremely rare, and this bilingual version may be a unique survival.
No copies listed in OCLC. We note an example of the 1831 edition of the map in the Hungarian National Archives, but apparently without the extra tables and text in Italian. There appears to also be a later edition in 1834, again without the exta tables in Italian at the University of Karlova (Cechia).