Old Map of Provence, France by Visscher, 1690: Marseille, Avignon, Cannes, Nice, Parc national des Calanques
Old Map of Provence, France by Visscher, 1690: Marseille, Avignon, Cannes, Nice, Parc national des Calanques
Old Map of Provence, France by Visscher, 1690: Marseille, Avignon, Cannes, Nice, Parc national des Calanques
Old Map of Provence, France by Visscher, 1690: Marseille, Avignon, Cannes, Nice, Parc national des Calanques

Old Map of Provence, France by Visscher, 1690: Marseille, Avignon, Cannes, Nice, Parc national des Calanques

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Immerse yourself in the rich history and breathtaking geography of France with the exquisite 'Comte et gouvernement de Provence' map. Crafted by Nicolaes Visscher II in 1690, this masterpiece of cartography is a testament to the grandeur of the Dutch Golden Age. The map, whose name translates to 'County and Government of Provence', intricately illustrates the political divisions and regions of the Province of Provence in what is now modern-day France. The detailed engraving, combined with hand coloring in outline, brings to life the vibrant culture and the diverse landscape of this fascinating region.

The map is a treasure trove of cities and landmarks that have shaped the history and identity of Provence. The bustling port city of Marseille, the papal city of Avignon, the glamorous Cannes, the sun-soaked Nice, and the stunning Parc national des Calanques (Calanques National Park) are all beautifully represented. Each city and landmark is not merely a point on the map, but a story waiting to be discovered, a journey waiting to be embarked upon.

Beyond the cities and landmarks, the map also showcases the region's natural beauty and geographical diversity. The intricate engravings depict forests, waterways, canals, and mountains, providing a glimpse into the region's rich biodiversity. The relief shown pictorially further enhances the map's visual appeal, making it a captivating piece of art. The decorative cartouches and coat of arms add an element of regality, underscoring the map's historical significance.

This map is more than just a representation of geographical and political boundaries; it is a window into the past, a reflection of the historical and cultural evolution of Provence. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of art, or a connoisseur of luxury, the 'Comte et gouvernement de Provence' map is a unique piece that will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your collection. It is not just a map, but a testament to the enduring allure of Provence, a region that continues to captivate and inspire.

Some of the significant locations shown on this map:

Cities in the Province of Provence

  1. Marseille - Known as Massalia in ancient times, it's the oldest city in France, founded by the Phocaeans in 600 BC. It became a significant trading port in the Mediterranean.
  2. Nice - Known as Nicaea in ancient times, it was founded by the Greeks of Massalia and was an important trading post.
  3. Avignon - Known as Avenio in Roman times, it was the seat of the Papacy in the 14th century.
  4. Toulon - Known for its strategic port, it became a major center for naval construction in the 17th century.
  5. Aix-en-Provence - Known as Aquae Sextiae in Roman times, it was the capital of Provence in the 15th century.
  6. Arles - Known as Arelate in ancient times, it was a major city in the Roman Empire.
  7. Fréjus - Known as Forum Julii in Roman times, it was an important military base and port.
  8. Antibes - Known as Antipolis in ancient times, it was a Greek colony.
  9. Cannes - Known for its annual Film Festival in modern times, it was a small fishing village in the 17th century.
  10. Draguignan - It was the seat of the Subprefecture of the Var department until 1974.
  11. Hyères - Known as Olbia in ancient times, it was a Greek colony.
  12. Grasse - Known for its long-established perfume industry.
  13. Cavaillon - Known as Cabellio in Roman times.
  14. Manosque - It was a major commercial center in the Middle Ages.
  15. Digne - Known as Dinia in Roman times, it was the capital of the Briançonnet family in the 14th century.
  16. Gap - It was an important center of the Reformation in the 16th century.
  17. Sisteron - Known for its strategic location on the Napoleon Route.
  18. Orange - Known as Arausio in ancient times, it's home to a well-preserved Roman theatre.
  19. Carpentras - It was the capital of the Comtat Venaissin, a Papal territory.
  20. Martigues - Known as Maritima Avaticorum in Roman times.
  21. Salon-de-Provence - Known for its medieval fortress and Nostradamus' house.
  22. Istres - It was an important center of pottery production in the Roman Empire.
  23. La Ciotat - Known for its shipbuilding industry.
  24. Miramas - It was a major hub for railway transport.
  25. Gardanne - Known for its coal mining industry.
  26. Aubagne - Known for its pottery and ceramics industry.
  27. Les Pennes-Mirabeau - It was a fortified medieval village.
  28. Vitrolles - Known for its rocky plateau and medieval architecture.
  29. Marignane - Known for its vineyards and olive groves.
  30. La Seyne-sur-Mer - Known for its shipbuilding industry.

Notable Natural Phenomena

  1. Rhône River - One of the major rivers in Europe, it flows into the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. Parc national des Calanques - A national park located between Marseille and Cassis, known for its stunning limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
  3. Mont Ventoux - Known as the "Giant of Provence", it's a popular destination for cyclists.
  4. Verdon Gorge - Known as the "Grand Canyon of Europe", it's a popular destination for hiking and water sports.
  5. Luberon - A massif in central Provence, known for its picturesque villages and diverse flora and fauna.

Historical Events (1600-1690)

  1. Siege of Toulon (1707) - As part of the War of the Spanish Succession, British forces laid siege to Toulon.
  2. Establishment of the French Academy in Rome (1666) - King Louis XIV established the French Academy in Rome. Many artists from Provence studied there.
  3. Construction of the Canal de Marseille (1666-1849) - This canal was built to bring water from the Durance River to Marseille.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16in (30.5x41cm), 16x20in (40.5x51cm), 18x24in (45.5x61cm), 24x30in (61x76cm), 32x40in (81.5x102cm), 40x50in (102x127cm), 48x60in (122x153cm) and 56x70in (142x178cm), but it looks even better when printed large.

I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 90in (229cm). Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x20in (40.5x51cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps of Europe and European cities to see if something else catches your eye.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a gallery style black ash hardwood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. On maps up to 36 inches (91cm) the frame is 1.5-3cm (0.6in to 1in) wide. I use thicker frames on larger maps - usually between 35 and 60mm (1.4in to 2.4in).

In all cases I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

A few different frame colours are available for free (black, brown, white, oak and antique gold). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I have specialist printing and framing facilities in 17 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, extremely rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about how the Unique Maps Co. sources and restores old maps

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 1,500 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on 020 3286 8802