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Striking town plan of Algiers from Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum, first issued in 1588.
Algiers is known as 'El-Bahdja' in Arabic or 'Alger la Blanche' in French for the glistening white of its buildings rising up from the sea. The Ottomans captured the city from the Spanish in 1529, and it remained under Ottoman rule for three centuries until the French invasion of Algeria in 1830. It was the key port of the Barbery Corsairs who pirated European ships in the Mediterranean, kidnapping the crews and demanding ransoms under threat of enslavement. This resulted in numerous attempts by various European powers to regain the city.
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was born and died in Cologne. His primary vocation was as Catholic cleric; he spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates orbis terrarum, the greatest book of town views ever published. His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text. In this role, he was assisted by Abraham Ortelius. Braun lived into his 80s, and he was the only member of the original team to witness the publication of the sixth volume in 1617.
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