Old maps of Slovenian territory

slika zemljevida

Old maps of Slovenian territory

VOLUME: more than 200 maps of the Slovenian territory from 1520 to 1850.
ACCESS: Old maps of the Slovenian territory can be searched on KatNUK. Digitised and geo-referenced material can be found on the dLib.si portal. Stare zemljevide slovenskega ozemlja lahko iščete po KatNUK
INFORMATION: dr. Renata Šolar, T: 01 2001 159


Collection description:

The core of the Slovenian Territory Old Maps Collection comprises maps of the historically central Slovenian land, the Duchy of Carniola, from the first depictions in Sebastian Münster's Cosmography of 1548, Valvazor's map of Carniolia, Karstia, Histria et Windorum Marchia, of Janez Dizma Florjančič's supreme cartographic achievement Ducatus Carnoliae, to the well-known Zemljovid slovenskih dežel in pokrajin (Map of the Slovenian Lands and Provinces) by Peter Kozler from 1853.

The oldest cartographic document representing Slovenian territory is the Quinta Europe Tabula (the Fifth Map of Europe) in the Geographia by the Alexandrian scholar Claudius Ptolemy. The Quinta Europe Tabula /The Fifth Map of Europe/ is found in an extremely rare transcription of Ptolemy's maps from the early 16th century, namely 26 Latin manuscript maps, added to a commentary by the Swiss humanist Joachim Vadian on the work of the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela. The maps were drawn around 1520 by Peter Freiländer, professor at the University of Vienna, the first owner of the book Libri de situ orbis tres, adiectis Joachimi Vadiani ... Viennae 1518. According to Primož Simoniti, the maps are redrawn from Nicholas Donis's edition third edition of Ptolemy's maps.

The woodcut map of Sclauonia oder Windisch Land sampt Dalmatia first appears in 1545, in the third edition of Ptolemy's Geographia by the Basel cosmographer Sebastian Münster, under the Latin title Descriptio totius Illyridis. The famous Dutch cartographer Abraham Orteli is the author of the first atlas in the scientific sense of the word – the Theatrum orbis terrarium - the selection of the best maps by cartographers of the time, was published in Antwerp in 1570. Maps showing Slovenian territory were contributed to Theatrum by Wolfgang Lazius, Augustin Hirschvogel, Joannes Sambucus and Pietro Coppo. An important turning point in the development of cartography was the work of the mathematician, astronomer and cartographer Gerhard Mercator (Kremer), who focused particularly on mathematical elements of maps. He set foundations of mathematical cartography with scientific approaches. Our regions are shown on the map of Karstia, Carniola, Histria et Windorum Marchia. The map clearly shows that the author has endeavoured to achieve a mathematically correct spatial representation: on this map, the outline of Istria and the Kvarner islands come closer to contemporary presentations for the first time.

In the 17th century, in addition to foreign authors of maps and geographical surveys, the first creators living in the area of the present-day Slovenia also made their mark. Among them, a special place belongs to Janez Vajkard Valvasor, a travel writer, historian and cartographer. Valvasor improved the Merian and Mercator map of our lands with the results of field surveys. In 1681, he published the map in different versions in Schönleben's chronicle Carniolia antiqua et nova, and in 1689, in his Glory of the Duchy of Carniola. Valvasor's cartographic work had a great influence on Ivan Dizma Florjančič de Grienfeld, a parish priest and Cistercian. His wall map Ducatus Carnioliae Tabula Chorographica published in 1744, of the approximate scale of 1: 100,000, was the most accurate map of the country at that time. Between 1766 and 1773, Baltazar Hacquet, a surgeon and natural scientist was working in Idrija, which in the 18th century, due to its mercury mine became one of the imperial scientific centres. A century later, Hacquet continued Valvasor's pioneering topographical work: he wrote the famous natural and mineralogical description of the then Carniola region Oryctographia Carniolica in four volumes. Hacquet supplemented the first part of the Palaeontology of Carniola with a map of an approximate scale 1: 500.000, showing the whole of the Carniolian region with the provincial name "Krainska deschela". The thematic content of the map is formed of rock and mineral sites that had not been mapped before, and that Hacquet had mapped on the basis of his own observations and tests.

The border of Slovenia's ethical territory was first drawn by Peter Kozler in 1853, on a map at a scale of 1: 576.000, although Slovenia did not exist administratively. With the Zemljovid of Slovenian Land and Provinces, Kozler as a lawyer and politician, wanted to clearly present the idea of the United Slovenia programme and its related demands for the use of the national language. Due to its strong propaganda content, the map was confiscated immediately upon its publication, with the explanation that the title already destroyed the legal union of the Austrian provinces. The map appeared in public eight years later. In a relatively short time it was twice reprinted, in 1864 and 1871.


  1. Bohinec, V. (1969). Slovenske dežele na zemljevidih od 16. do 18. stoletja. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, Trubarjev antikvariat.
  2. Gašperič, P. (2007). Cartographic images of Slovenia through time / Kartografske upodobitve Slovenije skozi čas. Acta Geographica Slovenica / Geografski zbornik, 47 (2), 244–273.
  3. Glavan, R. (2001). Zanimiv odtis Zemljevida slovenske dežele in pokrajin Petra Kozlerja. Revija o knjigi, 15, 38-39.
  4. Korošec, B. (1978). Naš prostor v času in projekciji. Oris zemljemerstva, kartografije in prostorskega urejanja na osrednjem Slovenskem. Ljubljana: Geodetski zavod RS.
  5. Longyka, I. (2000). Prikazi slovenskega ozemlja. V Ilustrirana zgodovina Slovencev (str. 443-483). Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
  6. Fridl, J., Mihevc, B. (2001). Geography and cartography in slovenia. V National atlas of Slovenia (str. 24-33). Ljubljana: Rokus.
  7. Fridl, J. in Urbanc, M. (2006). Sporočilnost zemljevidov v luči prvega svetovnega atlasa v slovenskem jeziku. Geografski vestnik, 78 (2), 53–64.
  8. Fridl, J.; Šolar, r. (2011). Vpliv razvoja kartografskih tehnik na podobe zemljevidov slovenskega ozemlja od 16. do 19. stoletja. Knjižnica, 55 (4), 205-221.
  9. Reisp, B. (1994). Florjančičev veliki zemljevid Kranjske iz leta 1744. V Deželnopisna karta vojvodine Kranjske (str. 7-20). Ljubljana: Slovenska knjiga.
  10. Rojc, B. (1990). Kartografsko delo Janeza Vajkarda Valvasorja. V Valvasorjev zbornik (str. 165-180). Ljubljana: SAZU; Odbor za proslavo 300-letnice izida Valvasorjeve Slave.
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