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Map of Castle Elmina


Map of Castle Elmina

Vingboons, Johannes

Title on object: Caarte van ’t Casteel de Mina, met syn omleggende dorpen, rivieren, clippen ende droochten, alles in platte vormen vertoont

Elmina was originally a Portuguese fort, where the main product bought was gold. In 1637 the WIC conquered the fort, which then replaced fort Nassau as the WIC headquarters on the West-African coast. In addition to gold, the fort was increasingly used to buy enslaved people for the plantations in South-America and the Caribbean.

This map shows the fort and the adjacent town, surrounded by rivers. The legend is no longer legible on this copy, but is the same as on the other copies of this map. See Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Van der Hem 26:20; Nationaal Archief VELH0619.77; Vatican Library Reg. Lat. 2107, fol. 35r. (The latter available through the online collection of the Vatican.) Another copy in the British Library, Add. MS 33976 K, is not yet digitally available.

Part of the Carte di Castello, collected by Cosimo de Medici III in 1667 and 1669 during his tours through Europe. Cosimo III bought the 66 watercolours by Vingboons in December 1667 in Amsterdam, through mediation of Pieter Blaeu.

Please contact Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Corbellini, Sabrina and Cattaneo, Angelo, The Global Eye: Dutch Spanish and Portugese maps in the collections of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici (2019)