Franciscus's map of the Holy Land

Palestinae sive Terre Sancte descriptio... MDLVII.

Asia Holy Land
  • Author: FRANCISCUS DELLA GATTA, Johannes
  • Publication place: Rome
  • Publication date: 1557.
  • Physical description: Broadsheet engraved map tipped-in to album sheet.
  • Dimensions: 385 by 540mm. (15.25 by 21.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 3158


Fine example of this extremely rare map of the Holy Land.

Franciscus’s map of the Holy Land is a remarkable combination of bird’s eye view and map. “The shore line runs from Biblus as far as the Nile Delta. The Kishon River is shown connecting the Lake of Tiberias with the Mediterranean Sea. The Wandering of the Jews from Egypt as far as the Jordan River are depicted in military columns. Many biblical cities are shown on the map. Jerusalem is depicted as an impressive city” (Laor). To the upper left is a key to biblical place names, contained within an elaborate cartouche of cupids and tritons.

The map is based upon Wolfgang Wissenberg’s larger map of the Holy Land published 1537, and dedicated to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. The map was printed upon eight sheets and measured 105 by 74 cm. Unfortunately, Wissenberg’s map is known in only one example, housed in the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris.


  1. Laor 249.
  2. Tooley 434