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The first atlas - Abraham Ortelius

The first atlas was printed in Plantijns printing office.

'You deserve to be praised because you selected the best description from each region and collected it in one book. The book is not expensive and we can take it wherever we go.' - Mercator to Ortelius

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)

Ortelius is the inventor of the modern atlas. He is the first to collate all the maps of the then known parts of the world in the same format. He acquires his material from his wide network of contacts. History and cartography go hand in hand with Ortelius: he studies the history of Rome and at the same time he maps it.

Theatrum orbis terrarum

The inventor of the modern atlas Abraham Ortelius begins his career as a map designer at the Plantin company. In 1570, the cartographer first brought together all known maps of the world in a book in the same format. The first atlas is a commercial success that is admired and used throughout Europe. 

Top work

Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum orbis terrarum, C. Plantin voor A. Ortelius, 1579

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Unesco werelderfgoed

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