By: W.B. Clarke
Date: 1833 (Published) London
Dimensions: 13 x 15 inches (33 cm x 38 cm)
This lightly colored elegant map of Oporto (modern-day Porto, Portugal) was published in 1833 by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. This society was founded by British statesman (Lord Chancellor) Henry Broughman for the purpose of making educational materials available to those of the rapidly expanding reading public who had limited financial means and for those who preferred self-education.
This map depicts Porto as it appeared in the third decade of the 19th century, and below the map is a scenic view of the city. Porto dates back to at least Roman times, and remains of various civilizations are found throughout the city, including Celtic, Proto-Celtic, Moorish to name a few. The historical core of the city is a UNESCO designated world heritage site. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the shipyards of Porto became important to the development of the Portuguese fleet, whose discoveries changed the way Europeans viewed themselves and the world.
The Portuguese built an empire which depended entirely on its command of the seas, for rather than colonize its new territories, Portugal set up trading depots from West Africa to China, and made little attempt to conquer these lands by force. In 1419 the royal house of Portugal began to subsidize sailors, mapmakers, astronomers, shipbuilders and instrument makers who were interested in discovering new lands. While the majority of these early explorers were Italian, many other nationalities were also financed by the Portuguese court. All were united in their desire to find a way to India. Though they did not succeed, they were able to advance down the west coast of Africa, and thus opened rich trade in gold and slaves. Portuguese mariners eventually made their way to the Spice Islands, opening an entire new world of riches and wealth.
Condition: This map is in A condition. Minor separations in the top right border have been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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