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Description:This original hand coloured copper plate engraved antique map, from a page of three maps, of the Oswięcim and Zator Duchies in South Poland by the Carpathian Mountains, by Abraham Ortelius was published in the 1574 edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - OriginalColors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pinkGeneral color appearance: - AuthenticPaper size: - 10 1/2in x 9 1/2in (265mm x 240mm)Plate size: - 10 1/2in x 9 1/2in (265mm x 240mm)Margins: - Min 1/4in (5mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background:Oswięcim has a rich history, which dates back to the early days of Polish statehood. It is one of the oldest castellan gords in Poland. Following the Fragmentation of Poland in 1138, Duke Casimir II the Just attached the town to the Duchy of Opole in c. 1179 for his younger brother Mieszko I Tanglefoot, Duke of Opole and Raciborz. The town was destroyed in 1241 during the Mongol invasion of Poland. Around 1272 the newly rebuilt Oswięcim was granted a municipal charter modeled on those of Lwowek Sląski (a Polish variation of the Magdeburg Law). The charter was confirmed on 3 September 1291. In 1281, the Land of Oswięcim became part of the newly established Duchy of Cieszyn, and in c. 1315, an independent Duchy of Oswięcim was established. In 1327, John I, Duke of Oswięcim joined his Duchy with the Duchy of Zator and, soon afterwards, his state became a vassal of the Kingdom of Bohemia, where it remained for over a century. In 1445, the Duchy was divided into three separate entities – the Duchies of Oswięcim, Zator and Toszek. In 1457 Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon bought the rights to Oswięcim. On 25 February 1564, King Sigismund II Augustus issued a bill integrating the former Duchies of Oswięcim and Zator into the Kingdom of Poland. Both lands were attached to the Krakow Voivodeship, forming the Silesian County. The town later became one of the centers of Protestant culture in Poland.Like other towns of Lesser Poland, Oswięcim prospered in the period known as Polish Golden Age. This period came to an abrupt end in 1655, during the catastrophic Swedish invasion of Poland. Oswięcim was burned and afterward, the town declined, and in 1772 (see Partitions of Poland), it was annexed by the Habsburg Empire, as part of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, where it remained until late 1918. After the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the town was close to the borders of both Russian-controlled Congress Poland, and the Kingdom of Prussia. In the 1866 war between Austria and the Prussian-led North German Confederation, a cavalry skirmish was fought at the town, in which an Austrian force defeated a Prussian incursion.
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