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Portolankarte around 1439 (Facsimile)

  • Karte
  • Gabriel de Valsequa
  • End of 19th century

Once the compass had become a commonly used navigation instrument, the first Portolan charts started being created as supporting material from the late 13th century. They were aligned with a compass according to the plotted lines –as a means of finding a course and reaching the destination port (Latin portus). The chart-makers combined oral, drawn and written information on coastlines, ports and distances to represent the known world at the time. The acts of surveying and mapping the earth can often be traced back to trade interests or the documenting or asserting of ownership.

Detailed information

HU University Library: Historical Geographical Collection, HU University Library
Object type
Original title
Gabriel de Valsequa
End of 19th century
Inventory number
39 x 58,5 cm
Coloured printing
Exhibition Format
Rights statement
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, University Library
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Exhibition & Module
HU01 After Nature / HU01 02 Main Hall - Modern Cabinet of Curiosities / HU01 02 03 Research Objects