Mechelen, Netherlands

The late 17th century Stedenboek (book of cities) by Dutch cartographer Frederik de Wit is one of the rarest map books in the world. Only four copies are know to exist and the finest version has been digitised and uploaded by the National Library of The Netherlands. [Flash and html formats are available]

De Wit was among the last of the renowned cartographers in what is referred to as theGolden Age of Dutch cartography. Common to all his work was superb engraving and exceptional colouring qualities that resulted in maps of unique beauty and historical interest.

Imagine trying to draw those curving streets without the benefit of an aerial view.