Map of Hven

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Tycho Brahe, the pre-eminent astronomical observer of the 16th century, established an observatory on the Danish island of Hven in the 1570s. This copper engraved map of that island was printed in 1586, and included in the 4th volume of Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cologne, 1594). It is based on an original drawn a few years earlier either by Brahe or under his supervision.
Here, West is at top. The inset at top left shows the façade and a floor plan of Brahe’s castle, Uraniborg. The inset at top right shows Uraniborg in its walled Renaissance garden. The inset at bottom right shows Brahe’s large quadrant and his large equatorial armillary sphere; the legend below names various features on the map. Stjernborg, Brahe’s newer observatory, is identified but not yet named. The text in the inset at bottom left reads: “Topographia Insulae Huenae in celebri porthmo Regni Daniae, quem Vulgo Oer: sunt vocant. Effigiata Coloniae 1586.”
Ref: Michael Jones, “Tycho Brahe (Tyge Ottesen Brahe) 1546-1601,” Geographers Bibliographical Studies 27 (2008): no pagination.
Currently not on view
date made
place made
Deutschland: North Rhine-Westphalia, Köln
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 15 7/8 in x 21 in; 40.3225 cm x 53.34 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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