The Land Map of the margraviate of Burgau, 1612-1613/14

Until 1805, the Upper Austrian margraviate of Burgau comprised a significant part of the present-day district of Swabia (area of the present-day district of Günzburg, as well as parts of the districts of Augsburg, Dillingen, Donau-Ries, Unterallgäu, Neu-Ulm; in addition, individual towns in the district of Heidenheim and the Alb-Donau district of Baden-Württemberg). However, the margraviate did not belong to a closed territory but its parish rather marked a "legal (title) area" (Reinhard H. Seitz). As within the Burgau high court and forest borders, numerous other religious and secular rulers were represented, including imperial monasteries, imperial cities and imperial knights as well as the bishop of Augsburg.

The Habsburgs usually had the margraviate administered by a civil servant (Landvogt) stationed in Günzburg. However, this bailiff's lodge became a residence between 1609 and 1618: Margrave Karl of Burgau (1560-1618) took up a personal government there. He was a son from Archduke Ferdinand's (1529-1595) marriage to Philippine Welser (1527-1586) of Augsburg, who was not entitled to succession as Prince of Tyrol. Margrave Karl intensified the Habsburg claims to power by increasing and raising customs duties, among other things. This soon led to numerous jurisdictional conflicts with neighbours and "inmates".

Against this backdrop, the Margrave commissioned the important Swabian land map painter Johann Andreas Rauch (1575-1632) to survey and map the entire margraviate of Burgau. In 1613 or 1614 Rauch completed an almost 3 x 3 m large, magnificent wall map painted in oil. This work is kept at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) today. In addition, there is a smaller and somewhat simplified reproduction (coloured pen-and-ink drawing; approx. 87 x 83 cm), probably made very close to the original. In contrast to Rauch's oil paintings, the drawing contains neither a road network nor depictions of people and animals. According to Rauch's virtuoso model, its positional accuracy is amazingly high. Comparisons of church steeples, among other things, show: the many small views of the village obviously reflect the real appearance at that time.

Rauch's original Burgau land map is currently not accessible to the public. Therefore, the reproduction provided here, probably made soon after 1613/14, can offer a substitute to a certain extent. Stylistic comparisons with impressions of the Rauch map suggest that the smaller version was probably not made by Rauch himself. For practical reasons (use in administration), a copyist probably transferred the immovable, almost 9 square metre wall map to a handier format once it had been completed. Two copies from the 18th century were probably made for the same purposes. These are now in the Stadtarchiv Günzburg (Günzburg City Archive) and the Tiroler Landesarchiv (Tyrolean State Archive) in Innsbruck.

Sarah Hadry

The other "frühneuzeitlichen Landesaufnahmen" in bavarikon

>> "Early Modern Land Surveys" is a project of the Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns (Directorate General of the Bavarian State Archives). This collection combines unique pieces of the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian Main State Archive), the Staatsarchiv Amberg (Amberg State Archive), the Staatsarchiv Augsburg (Augsburg State Archive), the Staatsarchiv Bamberg (Bamberg State Archive), the Diözesanarchiv Eichstätt (Eichstätt Diocesan Archive), the Stadtarchiv Kronach (Kronach City Archive), the Staatsarchiv Nürnberg (Nuremberg State Archive), the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (State Library Bamberg), and the Historischer Verein für Oberpfalz und Regensburg (Historical Association for Upper Palatinate and Regensburg).