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Visiting Vienna During the Napoleonic Wars

Finely executed map of Vienna, published in the city by Artaria. It is targeted at foreigners and points out many notable sites—an early tourist map.

The city is nestled next to the Danube. Here, it is still surrounded by the Medieval city walls, which were demolished later in the nineteenth century.

The map includes two insets at the top corners showing the city as it existed in earlier times. At left is the core city under Jasomirgott (Henry II, Duke of Austria) in 1157. At right is the city as it was at the time of the Siege of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1529.

At the left is a key explaining color coding for the four different quarters of the city with the number of houses in each. At this time there were 1,317 houses in the city center, with another 5,617 in the vorstädten, or suburbs.  

In the lower right is another key defining types of buildings important for travelers, including churches, covered walkways, coffeehouses, and guesthouses (some with stables). This is accompanied by a list of notable sites that might be of interest to a visitor to the city. These include the attractions of the complex of government buildings around Josef Platz, the Hofburg complex, that include a coin collection, national theatre, library, and a museum of natural history, physics, astronomy, and engineering. Others are the city fortifications, armories, the picture gallery at the Belvedere Palace, the various offices of state, the central bank and courts, the main toll booth, the stamp office, the Academy of Fine Arts, the University and Observatory of Vienna, the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Many of these landmarks are still in situ and open to the public today.  

The city has winding streets and is organized in neighborhoods that cluster around plazas. Prominent among these is the Juden Platz, or Jewish Square. The Jewish population began to congregate in that area in the mid-twelfth century and built their main synagogue there. The neighborhood had four gates and could be closed off from the city, similar to other Jewish ghettos across Europe. The area is still known for its Jewish history today and the Juden Platz now has a monument to those who died in the Holocaust.

Vienna in the making

Vienna is at once an ancient and contemporary city. It grew from Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval hub due to its proximity to the Danube. In the twelfth century the city began to expand appreciably, resulting in the destruction of the original Roman walls. New walls were built to encompass the larger city quarters, which clustered around religious buildings like the Schottenkloster, the oldest monastery in Austria (and namesake of the Schotten Quarter seen here). St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Vienna survived another Ottoman siege in 1683, the same year it was named the capital of the powerful Hapsburg Empire. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were the period when many significant Baroque buildings, including several palaces, were constructed, giving the city much of the aesthetic appeal it still retains. Vienna also became the musical center of Europe at this time, with Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven all living there.

Napoleon occupied the city in 1805 and 1809; when leaving during the later invasion, his troops blasted away parts of the city walls—their complete look here is deceiving. The city was the site of the creation of a new European order in the wake of Napoleon, just after this map was made. In 1814-15, diplomats gathered to hammer out borders and create a balance of power.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, after the incorporation of the 34 suburbs, the Medieval walls seen here were further demolished. They made way for the Ringstrasse, which follows the old city walls, and the expansion of the Hofburg complex.  

Condition Description
Original hand-color. Dissected in 18 sections and mounted on original linen. Erased purple ink stamp below the title and erased shelf mark in the top margin. A few minor stains.