Town Plans / Views, 1580s-1940s

Map Detail
Name: Braun, Georg, 1540 or 1-1622.
Hogenberg, Franz, d. 1590?  
Title: Edenburgum, Scotiae Metropolis.  
Imprint: [Cologne : G. Braun & F. Hogenberg, ca. 1582]
Pagination: 1 map : hand col. ; 332 x 444 mm.
Shelfmark: EMS.s.653
Zoom Into Map:         Click on the map to view in greater detail.

Translation of the text of Braun and Hogenberg's French edition of 1583 (modern names in italics)


Edenbourg (Edinburgh), a royal city and the capital of Scotland, first called in Latin Alata Castra (Winged Camps), was built by the Scottish King Cruthueus, and first named Agneda: in the time of the Pictish King Ethus it was renamed Ethinbourg, and located in the principal province of Scotland named Landonia (Lothian). Near this city flows the river Forthea (Forth): this enters the estuary of the same name to the East, where there is a very secure port, about a thousand paces from the city: there also is the island called Hoemonia by the Romans, and now Columba, from which Dunbar Castle can be seen: Edenbourg city has two mountains to the East: the northern one is called Arthur's Seat, and the southern one Mount Sanglier. The land on all sides is very fertile, with lovely fields, woods, lakes, streams, and at least a hundred country seats, only a league from the city. One Italian league to the North, is an inlet of the sea, near which is the town of Letha (Leith): nearby there is a port, which can take a hundred large ships. The sea is seven leagues distant. The city of Edenbourg sits on a mountain, as does Prage (Prague), is one Italian league in length and one half a league in width: the axis lies from East to West. In the West end of the city there is a mountain, and a high rock, on which there is a fortress, well-fortified naturally by its position, there being on all sides (except that of the city) a deep valley: for these reasons this fortress can never be taken by force, and access is virtually impossible: any such access (except by both marvellous finesse and combat strategies) would be very surprising, as is amply told by history: it would be impossible to climb without ladders: being on the said steep and solid rock on which vultures nest. These are said to be raided for their eggs by very brave boys from below the fortress. The fortress forms the west side of the city, and is called the Maidens' Castle, because it strictly guarded the daughters of the Kings of the Picts, to keep them secure until the time that they were ready for marriage. To the East of the city there is the very fine monastery of Saint Cross, next to which is the King's Palace, and pleasant gardens, surrounded by a lake at the foot of the mountain called Arthur's Seat. On this mountain are found precious stones in plain view, mainly diamonds. The city has two large and grand streets, from the said castle to the monastery, and the King's Palace, paved with quarried stones, mainly those named by the King. There is, to the West, a suburb, half a league away, reached by St Cuthbert's Road. In front of the city are many monasteries and churches: these include the Orders of Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, the Church of Our Lady of the Fields, and a Presbyterian College, as well as another called Trinity College, and the Hospital of Saint Thomas. This is not built of bricks, but of natural quarried stone: the striking appearance whereof makes it look like a palace. The town-hall is central: as is also the Collegiate Church of Saint Giles. The Bishops, Dukes, Counts, Barons, and other principals of the Kingdom have their palaces, to house them, named after various assemblies. Above the monastery, is the King's Palace, which is very beautiful and magnificent: from which there is a road straight to the Maidens' Castle, called the Royal Road: there is a longer, narrower, road to the castle close to the monastery, which has on both sides wonderful houses whose main ones are made from polished stone. The other very long road, called Chanoines Road, is narrower, and separated from the palace by a wall, bends and takes traffic to the suburbs. From the main road, to both South and North, there are an infinite number of lanes, all with other houses, such as Cows' Road, with houses of the gentlemen and the senators of the city, and the palace of the Princes of the Realm, all very magnificent. The Church of Saint Giles is the biggest in the city, after the monastery, and is built in the middle of the Royal Road. Then in that road which separates the city and the suburbs, the Chanoines Road, is the walled Queen's College. Also between the monasteries of the lesser brothers and preachers lies the Church of Our Lady of the Fields, and also the Presbyterian College. Finally, under the rock of the Maidens' Castle, there is the new parish church of Saint Cuthbert.

We are very grateful to Dr Neil Davidson for this translation.


Copyright           Enquiries & Copies           Help