1757 Robert De Vaugondy Large Antique Map of Franconia, Franken Southern Germany

Cartographer : Robert De Vaugondy

This large magnificent hand coloured original copper-plate engraved antique map of Franconia or Franken south central Germany by Robert De Vaugondy was published in the 1757 edition of De Vaugondys famous The Atlas Universel

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original & later
Colors used: - Blue, pink, red, green, yellow
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 26 1/2in x 19 3/4in (670mm x 505mm)
Plate size: - 22 3/4in x 19in (580mm x 490mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (10mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Franconia is a region in Germany, characterised by its culture and language, and may be roughly associated with the areas in which the East Franconian dialect group, locally referred to as fränkisch, is spoken. It commonly refers to the eastern part of the historical Franconian stem duchy, mainly represented by the modern Bavarian administrative districts of Lower, Middle, and Upper Franconia, the adjacent northeastern parts of Heilbronn-Franken in Baden-Württemberg, parts of Thuringia south of the Rennsteig ridge, and small parts of Hesse. Sometimes Vogtland is also regarded as part of Franconia (because the Vogtländisch dialect is often regarded as sub-group of East Franconian) but this is disputed. However, there is no fixed area that is officially defined as Franconia.
On 2 July 1500 during the reign of Emperor Maximilian I, as part of the Imperial Reform Movement, the Empire was divided into Imperial Circles. This led in 1512 to the formation of the Franconian Circle. Seen from a modern perspective, the Franconian Circle may be viewed as an important basis for the sense of a common Franconian identity that exists today. The Franconian Circle also shaped the geographical limits of the present-day Franconia. In the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, the Imperial Circle was severely affected by Kleinstaaterei, the patchwork of tiny states in this region of Germany. As during the late Middle Ages, the bishops of Würzburg used the nominal title of Duke of Franconia during the time of the Imperial Circle. In 1559, the Franconian Circle was given jurisdiction over coinage (Münzaufsicht) and, in 1572, was the only Circle to issue its own police ordinance.
Members of the Franconian Circle included the imperial cities, the prince-bishoprics, the Bailiwick of Franconia of the Teutonic Order and several counties. The Imperial Knights with their tiny territories, of which there was a particularly large number in Franconia, were outside the Circle assembly and, until 1806, formed the Franconian Knights Circle (Fränkischer Ritterkreis) consisting of six Knights\' Cantons. Because the extent of Franconia, already referred to above, is disputed, there were many areas that might be counted as part of Franconia today, that lay outside the Franconian Circle. For example, the area of Aschaffenburg belonged to Electoral Mainz and was a part of the Electoral Rhenish Circle, the area of Coburg belonged to the Upper Saxon Circle and the Heilbronn area to the Swabian Circle. In the 16th century, the College of Franconian Counts was founded to represent the interests of the counts in Franconia.
Franconia played an important role in the spread of the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther, Nuremberg being one of the places where the Luther Bible was printed. The majority of other Franconian imperial cities and imperial knights embraced the new confession. In the course of the counter-reformation several regions of Franconia returned to Catholicism, however, and there was also an increase in witch trials. In addition to Lutheranism, the radical reformatory baptist movement spread early on across the Franconian area. Important Baptist centres were Königsberg and Nuremberg.
In 1525, the burden of heavy taxation and socage combined with new, liberal ideas that chimed with the Reformation movement, unleashed the German Peasants\' War. The Würzburg area was particularly hard hit with numerous castles and monasteries being burned down. In the end, however, the uprisings were suppressed and for centuries the lowest strata of society were excluded from all political activity.
From 1552, Margrave Albert Alcibiades attempted to break the supremacy of the mighty imperial city of Nuremberg and to secularise the ecclesial estates in the Second Margrave War, to create a duchy over which he would rule. Large areas of Franconia were eventually devastated in the fighting until King Ferdinand I together with several dukes and princes decided to overthrow Albert.
In 1608, the reformed princes merged into a so-called Union within the Empire. In Franconia, the margraves of Ansbach and Bayreuth as well as the imperial cities were part of this alliance. The Catholic side responded in 1609 with a counter-alliance, the League. The conflicts between the two camps ultimately resulted in the Thirty Years\' War, which was the greatest strain on the cohesion of the Franconian Circle Initially, Franconia was not a theatre of war, although marauding armies repeatedly crossed its territory. However, in 1631, Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus advanced into Franconia and established a large encampment in summer 1632 around Nuremberg. However, the Swedes lost the Battle of the Alte Veste against Wallenstein\'s troops and eventually withdrew. Franconia was one of the poorest regions in the Empire and lost its imperial political significance. During the course of the war, about half the local population lost their lives. To compensate for these losses about 150,000 displaced Protestants settled in Protestant areas, including Austrian exiles.
Franconia never developed into a unified territorial state, because the patchwork quilt of small states (Kleinstaaterei) survived the Middle Ages and lasted until the 18th century. As a result, the Franconian Circle had the important task of preserving peace, preventing abuses and to repairing war damage and had a regulatory role in the region until the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Until the War of the Spanish Succession, the Circle had become an almost independent organization and joined the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV as an almost sovereign state. The Circle also developed early forms of a welfare state. It also played a major role in the control of disease during the 16th and 17th centuries. After Charles Alexander abdicated in 1792, the former margraviates of Ansbach and Bayreuth were annexed by Prussia. Karl August Freiherr von Hardenberg was appointed as governor of these areas by Prussia
Most of modern-day Franconia became part of Bavaria in 1803 thanks to Bavaria\'s alliance with Napoleon. Culturally it is in many ways different from Bavaria proper (Altbayern, Old Bavaria), however. The ancient name was resurrected in 1837 by Ludwig I of Bavaria. During the Nazi period, Bavaria was broken up into several different Gaue, including Franconia and Main-Franconia.