the scandinavian route

The northern route through Finland, Scandinavia, Denmark and northern Germany was a more uncommon way to take to Tallinn. This may have been because it encompassed at least two trips over the sea and another leg of the journey that led over land, along the Gulf of Bothnia a way which is more than 1.000km longer than the route along the southern Baltic shores. Nonetheless, some travelers took this route in order to visit the countries of northern Europe and cities such as Turku, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

The voyage through the maps begins with an old anthropomorphic map of Europe and continues with another map, printed 300 years later, illustrating the Baltic for the curiosity of the educated elites. Afterwards, detailed maps express the geographical inquisitiveness and the political events of the times of their creation. Town maps of the royal residence of Hanover, today’s state capital, are the final stop of the trip, leading to a presentation of some cultural highlights of the Hanoverian region. Among them are the City of Hildesheim with the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hildesheim Cathedral and St Michael’s Church, as well as Herrenhausen Palace and Hamelin – the town of the Pied Piper.

„The steam ship was well booked. There were around 200 passengers. Most of them were “Lustreisende”. In Tallinn and Helsinki this means travelers who come to Helsinki by steamship on a Saturday, in order to spend a pleasant Sunday, before they return to Tallinn on Monday – again by steamship.”

From: Das Ausland. Wochenschrift für Erd- und Völkerkunde. Vol. 25 (1852), No. 5, p. 19.


In: Münster, Sebastian: Cosmographey, das ist Beschreibung Aller Laender, Herrschafften und fuernehmesten Stetten des ganzen Erdbodens. Basel: Henricpetri, 1598.

Woodcut, 17 x 26 cm

Station 1

In 1537, Tyrolean Johannes Putsch published the first anthropomorphic map, showing a crowned female figure in the shape of Europe. Putsch lived in proximity to Emperor Ferdinand I. From 1588, this map of Queen Europe also appeared in several editions of Sebastian Münster’s “Cosmographey”. In this cosmography, a description of the world, Münster emphasizes Europe’s superiority over Asia, Africa and America.

Station 2

This very illustrative overview map of the Baltic dating from 1856 is from the Illustrated London News, a successful magazine aimed at the educated middle class. With its focus on visual depictions of world affairs – such as wars, catastrophes and major events – it had a significant influence on the worldview of the 19th century. In accordance with the magazine’s decidedly visual approach, the map features several depictions of capital cities, trading towns and royal and aristocratic residences, as well as city maps and coats of arms.

Picture Map of the Baltic Sea    

The Illustrated London News, Supplement May 31, 1856

Lithograph, 50 x 77 cm

Tabula exactissima Regnorum Sueciæ et Norvegiæ nec non Maris Universi Orientalis, Terrarumque adiacentium             

[Erscheinungsort unbekannt], [1658?]

Copper engraving ; 43 x 53 cm

Station 3

This map of Scandinavia is probably based on another map published by Jodocus Hondius. It is remarkable because of the pointed form of Finland. This differentiates it from maps with the same name produced by Swedish cartographer Anders Bure. Bure’s impact on surveying and mapping in Sweden was considerable. King Gustav Adolf’s title as King of the Goths and Vandals and Lord of Finland, Estonia, Karelia and Ingria illustrates the Swedish self-conception as a historically legitimated major power. The spirit of Gothicism is the foundation of this conception, which the king used as an ideological support for his aggressive policy of expansion.

Station 4

This map shows parts of southern Finland, specifically the historical province of Nyland (Finnish: Uusimaa) with the surrounding lands, shortly before Sweden had to cede these territories to Russia as a result of the Finnish War (1809). The uncoloured areas in the southeast (beyond the River Kymijoki/Kymmene älv) had already been surrendered to Russia in the Peace of Åbo in 1743. During the 18th century, as a consequence of the Great Northern War, balance of power in the eastern Baltic gradually shifted from Sweden to Russia. The struggle between both powers manifested itself with particular force in the contest over southern Finland.

Charta öfwer Nylands och Tavastehus samt Kymmenegårds Hoefdingedoemen

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: C. P. Hällström

Stockholm, 1798

Copper engraving, 56 x 61 cm

Charta öfwer Storfurstendömet Finland

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: C. P. Hällström

Stockholm, 1799

Copper engraving, 53 x 57 cm

Station 5

This map, created during the time of Swedish dominion, shows what was to become the Grand Duchy of Finland, which emerged from the cessation of Finland to the Russian Empire in 1809 and enjoyed a considerable level of autonomy. The map also displays those territories (“Old Finland”) that Sweden had ceded to Russia in 1721/1743 and that were later amalgamated with the newly created Grand Duchy of Finland. The colouring, however, does not reflect this development.

Station 6

This map of the Swedish provinces of Gästrikland and Hälsingland is in the style of a so-called island map, which does not show the surrounding provinces (höfdinggedöme). The two provinces lie immediately north of the old Swedish centre of power around Stockholm and Uppsala and thus acted as gateways to the North. In the final phase of the Great Northern War, this region saw particularly severe devastation caused by Russian military actions.

Charta öfver Gästrikland och Hellsingland

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: F. A. U. Cronstedt

Stockholm, 1796

Copper engraving, 59 x 55 cm

Dania Regnum In quo sunt Ducatus Holsatia et Slesvicum Insulæ Danicæ et Provinciæ Iutia, Scania, Blekingia et Hallandia

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: Justuts Danckerts

Amsterdam, 1680

Copper engraving, 48 x 57 cm

Station 7

In early modern times, Denmark was a regional power in the western Baltic. The map by Dutch publisher Justus Danckerts illustrates Denmark’s geopolitical role as a double hinge: between continental central Europe and Scandinavia as well as between the Baltic and the North Sea. The toll collected in the Øresund was very important for trade and shipping. In the Peace of Roskilde in 1658, however, Denmark ceded the provinces south of the Øresund – Schonen, Blekinge and Halland – to Sweden, thus effectively turning The Sound into international waters.

Station 8

This is another map from an important Dutch publishing house of the Golden Age (Frederik de Wit). It still shows the Kingdom of Denmark with those provinces that were later lost to Sweden – Schonen, Blekinge and Halland. This is the first map published by the firm’s founder Frederik de Wit. While, compared to the Danckerts map, it shows a lesser degree of topographic detail, it exhibits numerous decorative elements and colouring.

Perfeckte Kaerte van ‘t Coninckryck Denemarcken

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: Frederick de Wit

Amsterdam, 1689

Copper engraving, 43 x 53 cm

Plan der Königlich-Chürfürstlichen Residenz-Stadt Hannover : im Fürstenthum Calenberg am Leine-Fluss belegen, unter 52°, 22′, 18″ Nördlicher Breite und 9°, 50′ Ostlicher Länge von London: nebst allen Veränderungen und Verbesserungen, welche nach der Demolition der Vestungswercke vom Jahre 1780 bis 1800, entstanden

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: J. F. Saltzenberg, Johann Ludwig Hogreve

Hanover, 1800

Station 9

Beginning in the 1780s, the star-shaped fortifications of Hanover were razed. The sconces, bastions and moats of the fortifications had their origins in the Middle Ages and had last been reinforced during the Seven Years’ War. By razing the walls, the growing capital of the Electorate of Hanover gained space for further expansion. The wall’s total length was 2.8km. The newly won space was used to create tree-lined boulevards and streets that contemporary travelogues describe as one of the city’s particularly pleasant features. This city-map shows all the representative buildings that expressed the glory and might of the House of Guelph, whose head ruled both the Electorate and the United Kingdom in personal union from the capital London. In addition to the city palace and the palace church, these hotspots of Guelph representation include the grand stables, to which the map refers as “des Königs Pferde-Ställe” (the royal stud), as well as (outside the map’s scope) the summer residence in Herrenhausen with the Baroque gardens, which was linked to the city by a boulevard, and the Royal Library. The latter was located in the building of the archives and was opened for visitors and readers in the 18th century. Today’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek – Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek is the successor institution of the Royal Library. The library’s privilege of legal deposit for the state of Lower Saxony reflects this tradition and dates back to an earlier regulation from 1737.

Station 10

In 1847, the publishing house of the brothers Jänecke issued one of the best-known guides to the city of Hanover. It describes and shows the highlights of the capital of the Kingdom of Hanover, which was ruled in personal union with the United Kingdom until 1837. The lithographic print includes a detailed map of the city, another map of the surrounding countryside, and it names several buildings that still distinguish Hanover’s cityscape today: the Old Town Hall with the Market Church, both executed in the redbrick Gothic style typical of Northern Germany, as well as the 19th century public square commemorating the Battle of Waterloo (Waterlooplatz), which used to be a military parade-ground and is now surrounded by Hanover’s governmental and administrative quarter. Today, some of the buildings depicted on the map fulfil different functions: the former Royal Court Theatre is now the home of the Hanover State Opera, the Guelph Palace houses parts of the Leibniz University, and the Palace of Herrenhausen, which had been destroyed in World War II, was rebuilt as a combined exhibition space and event location in 2012 and forms part of the larger ensemble of the historic Baroque gardens. The Royal Palace in the city centre, known as the Leine Palace, is now the seat of the parliament of Lower Saxony.

Die Königl. Haupt- und Residenz-Stadt Hannover mit ihren Umgebungen,

Cartographer/Engraver/Publisher: Jänecke,

Hanover 1856,

Lithograph, 41 x 35 cm

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Botanical garden of Göttingen

copper engraving (1750). 1 Blatt, 12 x 15 cm.

In 1736, two years after the foundation of the University of Göttingen, the alma mater’s botanical garden was established. It remains a popular location for walkers even today. Its creator was polymath Albrecht von Haller, who was not only a botanist but was also active in the fields of medicine and poetry. Further information under https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alter_Botanischer_Garten_(G%C3%B6ttingen) or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Botanical_Garden_of_G%C3%B6ttingen_University 


copper engraving by Gabriel Bodenehr (1720). 15 x 39 cm.

The city of Hildesheim, eponymous capital of the Prince-Bishopric of Hildesheim, was one of the few Catholic enclaves in Protestant Northern Germany. The cathedral is one of Lower Saxony’s most important ecclesiastical buildings. Further information under  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildesheim or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildesheim


hand drawing (1700). 13 x 41 cm

In the Middle Ages, the town of Goslar had flourished and become wealthy thanks to ore mining. By the 18th century, however, the town had long lost its former importance. Even today, however, the Imperial Palace and the Rammelsberg mining complex give testament to Goslar’s former glory and are included in the UNESCO register of World Heritage Sites. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goslar or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goslar 

The labyrinth

hand drawing (1700). 19 x 17 cm.

Until World War II, the “Neues Haus” (new house) was a popular inn on the outskirts of Hanover. Next to it, there used to be a lawn labyrinth, which was called “Brautlauf” (bride’s run). In 1932, it was relocated to its current location in the Eilenriede woods. Further information under https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neues_Haus_(Geb%C3%A4ude_in_Hannover) or https://www.hannover.de/Kultur-Freizeit/Freizeit-Sport/Echt-hann%C3%B6versch/Echt-Hann%C3%B6versch-Zehn-Dinge/Zehn-Dinge,-die-man-im-Fr%C3%BChling-in-Hannover-unbedingt/Zu-seiner-Lust-laufen 

Leibnizhaus Hannover

Gedenkblätter verschwundener Schönheiten doch unzerstörbar-seeligen Besitzes, etching by F. O. Goy (1939). 29 x 20 cm.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz lived in this house from 1698 to his death in 1716. After the original building had been destroyed in World War II, a faithful reconstruction was built in a different location. Further information under https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leibnizhaus_(Hannover)

Bad Pyrmont

Prospect des Hochfürstl. Waldeckischen Schlosses und Neustadt Pijrmont Mineral. Brun[n]en u: umliegende Oerther, wie sich solches von dem punct P. præsentiret, copper engraving by Rottweil (1715). 23 x 48 cm.

In the Early Modern Period, Bad Pyrmont was not only the eponymous capital of the County of Pyrmont but also a very popular spa for the elites. This tradition continues today and the town with its state spa remains a place of relaxation and recreation. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Pyrmont or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Pyrmont 

Wilhelmstein and Steinhuder Meer

cooper engraving by W. Straeck (1787). 26 x 38 cm.

The Steinhuder Meer is the largest lake in Northwest Germany. Between 1761 and 1767 Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe constructed an artificial island with a fortress in its centre – the Wilhelmstein. He intended it to serve as an impregnable refuge for his county. Later, the Wilhelmstein was used as a military academy and a prison and is now a popular destination for excursions. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinhuder_Meer or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinhuder_Meer 


copper engraving (1700). 40 x 47 cm.


In the 16th century, the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg built a palatial residence and a park in Herrenhausen near Hanover. The Great Garden numbers among Europe’s most important Baroque parks and, together with the Berggarten (Mountain Garden), Georgengarten (Georgian Garden) and the Welfengarten (Guelph Garden) forms the ensemble of the Herrenhausen gardens. Further information under Herrenhäuser Gärten (Wikipedia) or Herrenhausen Gardens (Wikipedia) 

University Library of Göttingen

Universitæts Bibliothec, deren Saal 100. Fuß und 40. Fuß breit ist, Ihrer Grund-Lage, Aüserl. und Innerlicher Prospecte und der Zur Georg Augustus Universitæt gehörigen gebäude, copper engraving by Georg Daniel Heumann (1748). 22 x 33 cm.

The Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen (State Library of Lower Saxony and University Library Göttingen) was founded together with Göttingen University in 1734. Today, it combines outstanding historical collections with innovative research and development. Further information under  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6ttingen_State_and_University_Library 


Ansicht der Schleuse und Vestung Hameln von des Hr. Schleusen-Com[m]iss: Dammert sr: Wohnung anzusehen, hand drawing by Wilhelm Strack (1793). 29 x 46 cm.

Hamelin is mostly known as the location of the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In early modern times, the town was the strongest fortress of the Electorate of Hanover. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamelin or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hameln


Aussicht des Zellischen Schlosses nach Osten und Süden. Hand drawing by Völcker (1700). 86 x 59 cm.

Thanks to a branch of the House of Guelph, Celle is home to a magnificent palace. When the Celle branch of the family died out and the Principality fell to the Electorate of Hanover in 1705, the town continued to serve as an important location of the territory’s judiciary. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celle or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celle 


Die Bischöffliche Residenz zu Osnabruck. Von des Hr. Schleusen-Com[m]iss: Dammert sr: Wohnung anzusehen. Hand drawing by Wilhelm Strack (1793). 29 x 46 cm.

The Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück was the only territory of the Holy Roman Empire in which neither Catholicism nor Protestantism were able to achieve sole dominance after the Reformation. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 put an end to this conflict: thereafter, the bishopric alternated between Catholics and Lutherans. Bishops of both denominations took it in turns to reside in the palace. Further information under Schloss Osnabrück (Wikipedia)

Temple of Leibniz

copper engraving of J. F. Salzenberg (1790). 15 x 22 cm.

The so-called Temple of Leibniz, designed by Hanoverian court counsellor Johann Daniel Ramberg and built in the years 1787-1790, is dedicated to Hanoverian polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. The temple, which included a bust of Leibniz, was originally located next to the parade ground in front of the Leine Palace, but it was removed and relocated to the Georgian Garden (Georgengarten) in 1935/36. Further information under https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leibniztempel

Leibnitzens Monument gegen Hannover

Hannover in Westen

Hannover in Westen beÿm Einfluße der Ime in die Leine anzusehen. Hand drawing (1726).   33 x 31 cm.

In early modern times, four main churches – the Market Church, St Georgii et Jacobi, St Giles’ Church, the Church of the Cross and St John’s Church in the New Town – dominated Hanover’s skyline. In spite of major devastation during World War II, the church spires still stand. The ruin of St Giles’ Church, however, was not rebuilt and serves as a memorial today. Further information under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanover or https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannover