Pohled na zámek Brandýs nad Labem a opevnění švédského tábora v prostoru Staré Boleslavi z roku 1640 v díle M. Meriana
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A VIEW OF BRANDYS NAD LABEM CASTLE AND THE FORTIFICATION SYSTEM OF THE SWEDISH CAMP IN STARA BOLESLAV OF 1640 AS DEPICTED BY M. MERIAN
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The subject matter of the paper was the picture of Brandys Castle and the Swedish camp in Stara Boleslav published in the 4th volume of 'Theatrum Europeum' in 1643 for the first time and in 'Topographia Bohemiae, Moravice et Silesiae' in 1650 for the second time. Both the works were published by copper graver and publisher Matthaeus Merian in Frankfurt upon Mohan. The engraving was made according to a technical drawing by Carl Cappi and published in the 1630s-1640s in Merian's publishing house. The engraving can be described as a flat plan seen from the bird's eye view straight downwards. The plan is oriented along the north-eastern - south-western axis and shows an area of approximately 4.5 x 3.3 km. The drawing combines the possibilities of a ground plan and sketches of buildings and shapes, people are missing from the drawing. The basic axes of the plan are the rivers which are (namely the Jizera) not drawn in compliance with the actual situation at that time, the plan does not show the proportional relationships between individual locations properly. On the other hand, Cappi paid more attention to strategic military buildings (the fortification system of the field camp, paths, a temporary bridge across the river). The development complex Brandys nad Labem and Stara Boleslav was situated on the crossroads of two important paths: in consequence of such an advantageous location, the towns were repeatedly overran and ravaged by army troops during the Thirty Years' War. The studied plan by Carlo Cappi shows the fortification system of the Swedish base from which General Baner's army set out on plundering campaigns from the end of May 1639 till mid-March 1640. No traces of the Swedish field camp have survived. However, an aerial picture of 1948 shows one square redoubt - the remains of the fortification system were probably destroyed in the 1950s during the construction of army barracks. Based on a scientific attempt to reconstruct the vegetation in the monitored area we assume that the vegetation and the general features of the landscape were similar to the actual situation in Cappi's plan, even though it is marked with icons only. Only around the cut-off meander of the Labe, wrongly marked as the Jizera, the data is wrong. It is very likely that there was a forest in this area in the 17th century.
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