Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 233

Text, translated from the 1603 Latin, 1606 English 1608/1612Italian, the 1609/1612 Spanish and Latin and the 1624 Latin Parergon/1641 Spanish (but with Latin text) editions:

233.0. [the following text occurs at the end of the previous map, Daphne, but clearly applies to the present map]{1624LParergon only{TYPOGRAPHUS LECTORI. VETERI GeographiŠ noua Potentissimi Regis Moles coronidem imponat; & post Thessalicorum Tempe & Daphnes AntiochenŠ delicias, amťni▀imus in Hispania locus, sed sanctitate pariter illustris , haud nimis extra ordinem spectetur: vt saltem Regij Cosmographi in Regio Monasterio delineando labor,cum reliquis eius Tabulis Geographicis perennet}1624LParergon only} from 232.28a{1624LParergon/1641S only{THE TYPOGRAPHER TO THE READER: To the old geography a new crown has been added through the exertions of our mighty king, and after Tempe of the Thessalians and the pleasures of Daphne of Antioch, a very attractive place in Spain, which is equally famous on account of its holiness, should not be left out from this series, although the depiction of the royal monastery by this royal cartographer, together with his other geographical maps, took a long time to accomplish}1624LParergon/1641S only which end here}. [This final paragraph announces the next and last map of the Parergon, viz. the Escorial].

233.1 {1603L{The KINGS MONASTERY of Saint Laurentius, for friars of the order of Saint Hieronymus, in Escurial in Spain.

233.2. Old stories talk much about the seven wonders of the world, which have been highly praised, yet, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{(such is the fickleness of fortune)}1606E & 1608/1612I only}{1624LParergon/1641S instead{such are all human matters}1624LParergon/1641S} instead}, at this day they have all disappeared and through the course of time have come to nothing, so that now not any monument remains, nor reference to them at all. This age of ours also has certain wonders and strange things, {1606E only{equal or superior to most of those [of the past]}1606E only}. Spain, among others, {not in 1606E{which we will discuss now}not in 1606E} has a most stately and royal building, a work worthy of the catholic king, of infinite cost and charges, consecrated to holy and religious uses, namely a church, not like that which was built {1606E only{in Asia some time ago}1606E only}, dedicated to the Ephesian Diana, and finally set on fire and destroyed by Herostratus, but one {1606E only{which is equally gorgeous and sumptuous}1606E only}, dedicated to Saint Laurentius, that zealous martyr and to the glory of the Spanish nation.
233.3. The cause of its dedication, so they say, was a vow. For on the campaign to Saint Quentin, the metropolitan and chief city of Vermandois {1608/1612I only{in Picardia}1608/1612I only}, undertaken by the catholic king Philip the second of the house of Austria against Henricus the second, the French king, a notable battle was fought between the French and the Burgundians, in the year of our Lord 1557. On the tenth day of August, the flower of chivalry and the chief nobility of France was slain, and the victory fell to Austria {1606E instead{Philip and his Burgundians}1606E instead} and this victory was such that I am unable to say whether the house of Austria ever saw a greater one or not.
233.4. This day, every year, has been declared a holy day for Saint Laurentius {1606E only{the martyr, to whom and to whose good prayers this good prince [Philip] attributes that he could behold his victory}1606E only}. Therefore, as soon as the king had returned home, remembering his vow, saw to it that, above anything else, he carried out his promise made to God and to his holy martyr saint Laurentius. Therefore he implemented it [this building] very magnificently and most beautifully, expending costs and bestowing many years and almost infinite treasures so that now it is not just one building, namely a most gorgeous and stately monastery, but four, according to the number of corners of the building, next to a marvellous royal palace including a library, well stocked with various ancient {1606E only{manuscripts and rare}1606E only} books.
233.5. The village {1608/1612I & 1624LParergon/1641S only{at the foot of a mountain}1608/1612I & 1624LParergon/1641S only} which by reason of the great multitude of labourers and workmen of all trades which resorted to it, now has become a pretty town, commonly called ESCVRIAL (Escuriacum in Latin) is five miles from {not in 1606E{Mantua of the Carpetani, now called}not in 1606E} Madrid {1608/1612I has instead{15 miles from Mantua in Carpetania where the king of Toledo lives, now called Madrid}1608/1612I instead}. {1606E instead{This is an ancient settlement which PtolemŠus in his time called Mantua Carpetanorum}1606E instead}. Around it are various very steep and high hills, out of which almost all the {1608/1612I only{brown}1608/1612I only} stone was dug that was used for this building. The friars who inhabit and possess these monasteries are of the order of Saint Hieronymus. They very devotedly every day at nine in the choir of that church sing psalms and pour out their prayers to God {1606E only{for the health and preservation of all Christian princes}1606E only}. There also the king has established a university, and has allowed a large maintenance not only for the professors of divinity, but also on philosophy and other liberal sciences, and also for its scholars and students.
233.6. Yet it is no resort, being purposely built fairly distant from the highway, lest a great flocking of strangers to it, as often happens, should corrupt the manners and minds of the students, {1606E only{or alienate them from their books}1606E only}. But let us proceed to some details well worth mentioning.
233.7. Within the inner court at the front side of the building you shall see an excellent cloister or walk covered overhead which begins at the west side of the abbey and runs all along the north side, paved with stones partly round and partly square. The front and chief side of this abbey is towards the west, and at the four corners of the building there are four turrets. Over the front door of this church, on their respective pedestals, stand the statues of the six kings of Israel, carved out of white marble and black stone, each of them eighteen feet high. The great porch of this abbey, upheld and laid on pillars with Ionic and Doric work, is all of great black agate {not in 1606E{from Thracia}not in 1606E}.
233.8. On the North side there is a courtyard through which you go to the kings palace, the four walks of the college and the university, all of which have been built on this North side. Here you will also see some of the shops and work houses of those handicrafts [people], tradesmen and others that belong to the {1606E only{church and college as well as to the}1606E only} monastery. On the south side, there are certain gardens, orchards, the walk going to the hospital, certain distilling houses, an apothecary shop and a gallery through which you pass from the monastery to the parlour. Let us now pass on to the inner ornaments of this stately piece of work.
233.9. And first, [using] the stairs going up from the great door of the church, [you reach] a splendid gallery, leading to the open walk which there is between the college, the monastery will offer itself to your view. In this gallery you may go up a broad flight of stairs to get into the church, and from there you come to another floor which leads to the cross entry which is in front of the church from where those of the monastery go one way, those of the college another way into the church, and then from there into the lower room of the choir. The shape or platform of this choir is square, having within the square three cloisters. Near this place of the lower choir there is on each side an open court, from where the lower choir and the two chapels situated at this court receive their light. In this choir there are two stately altars. Above this choir, which is arched, there is another church with a choir belonging to it.
233.10. This church beside the great chapel, the inner and outer rooms of the choir, is square, supported by four pillars and other necessary support and upholding. In it are two pairs of organs, each of them having, as they call them, thirty-two registers. Further, there are in this church thirty-six altars, with a most stately door, through which they go into the great lower vault at those times that prayers are said. This church is thirty feet higher than the lower choir, and the upper choir is as many feet higher than the church itself. The floor is laid with chequered-like white marble and a kind of black stone, in the same manner as the floors of the outer and inner choirs.
233.11. Here are to be seen diverse and various service books and mass books, both written [by hand] and printed, and many others belonging to such church business. On the roof of this choir the sun, the moon, the stars and all the heavenly bodies are most splendidly painted, as is also the case with the walls, showing the portraits of various virtues, which are so cunningly portrayed that one would think them to be live persons, next to certain histories of saint LAVRENTIVS and saint HIERONYMVS. The seats are made of very fine wood, carved and decorated with twisted pillars of Corinthian work, most artistically [done].
233.12. On the south side of the church is the porch door, beautified and adorned with various excellent pictures. In this porch is a fountain, made of various kinds of jasper and marble, running at seven cocks for the use and benefit of those who intend to go to mass there. The floor is paved and garnished with black and white marble. The vestry is also a very stately place and richly adorned, containing various suitcases and chests which are laid up and filled with the copes, vestments and other ornaments belonging to the altars and priests which they put on when they say mass. Out of this vestry they go up to the high altar, which stands on a loft in the upper end of the church. The place where this altar stands is paved with the best jasper stone of various colours.
233.13. Certain chapels and closets are adjoined to this, where the noblemen and royalty sit to hear mass. This way they go into the chapel which is at the north side of the church, where all kinds of precious relics of saints are kept, enclosed in their various chests and boxes. Similarly for everything on the south side. Close to the high altar there is a small room, most richly adorned, where the holy communion is administrated. Within this room by the altar there is a closet where the sacrament is kept and preserved, adorned most stately with eight {1606E instead{seven}1606E instead} pillars, of the best jasper, and the statues of the twelve apostles as exquisitely wrought as art might devise.
233.14. The doors of this closet are made from the best and purest crystal, which they call crystal of the mountain, enclosed and hung in certain hinges of cast metal, double guilded and laid over with gold. This work is thought now to be the most splendid and artful that can be seen in all the world. The surveyor and famous architect of this building, master Iacobus de Trezzo, was [busy] for six whole years in cutting and polishing the jasper which was used for this building only. The high altar is a work as costly and splendid as this one, made in a similar manner of jasper and marble, and garnished with various stately pictures and statues.
233.15. The MONASTERY or place of residence for the monks and friars, has a very excellent steeple in which they hung a fine set of bells with a clock and a dial with an index showing the natural and planetary hours. The ward, hall or room here where the monks and friars come to dine and take supper, with the spittle, are most excellently built with corners, galleries and walks. Moreover, there is a fair cloister or square, where public prayers are daily read. In the middle of this square is a very fine garden, most artistically divided into beds and splendid plots. In the middle of it is an excellent piece of work built with eight corners, in the manner of a temple, with fountains of the best jasper.
233.16. To this cloister is adjoined the chapter house, with another room very much like it. The seats of the monks are round at the sides, but the seat of the prior is much better than the rest. It is a famous piece of work, made of marble, gloriously adorned with pictures and excellently arched over the head. The LIBRARY which is above the abbey is 185 feet long, and 32 feet wide. It has three different rooms. In the first all the liberal sciences have been accommodated. Below every picture are the books of that faculty, very orderly and finely placed, all of them guilded and bound alike. Here also is a huge parchment book in which all kinds of living creatures that are in the whole world to be seen, are most excellently drawn and expressed in their true and lively colours.
233.17. In the second room [there] are only manuscript books in Latin, Greek and Hebrew on divinity. In the beginning of each book one finds the picture or portrait of its author. In the same way, the third room is furnished only with manuscript copies of various writers, on different topics, in a variety of languages, namely historiographers, poets &c. These also have, where they might possibly be obtained, the lively portraits or pictures of their authors depicted. This library was much augmented by the addition of the library of Didacus Hurtadus Mendoza, who, having been for some time ambassador for Charles the fifth, emperor of Rome, to the Venetians, received from the country of Greece a ship full of Greek manuscript copies. Thus, excepting the Vatican in Rome, which is the pope's library, there is not, as most people think, a more stately and better furnished library than this one in the whole world {1606E instead{all of Europe}1606E instead}.
233.18. I come now to the UNIVERSITY and the KINGS PALACE, both of which are on the North side. In the UNIVERSITY there are three different schools or halls, where the three most famous and worthy arts divinity, law and medicine {1606E instead{physics}1606E instead} are taught, next to liberal arts which together with them are here taught to the younger kind of students. To this is joined a free school {1606E only{for grammar scholars}1606E only}, with various other court yards, and halls or dining rooms.
233.19. The PALACE is so situated that from there you may easily go to the church, the college and the monastery. It would be a long story to describe the various lodgings of the king, the ambassadors, controllers, chamberlains, noblemen, pensioners, yeomen of the guard and other officers belonging to the court. The kings gallery opens towards the North side of the church on the wall of which is painted the battle at Higueruela in which king Joannes the Second overcame the Moors of Granada.
233.20. This picture does so lively express the whole story and everything in it as it happened as to be most wonderful. It shows in what order and how the main battle was conducted, where the horsemen, footmen, the pikemen, the targeters, [and] the archers stood, which were then in great demand, and where each of them charged the enemy. This piece of work was made at the command of Philip the second, king of Spain, after an old pattern drawn on a piece of linen cloth of one hundred and thirty feet long, found in the tower of Segovia, which was first drawn at the time that this battle was fought.
233.21. Moreover, on the east and south sides of this building, there is a most excellent and pleasant garden, adorned and beautified with various arches, 100 feet wide, and with rare herbs, flowers and fountains. To this garden is adjoined an orchard planted and provided with all kinds of trees. Within the precincts of this monastery there are forty-seven {1606E & 1608/1612I instead{more than 40}1606E & 1608/1612I instead} fountains. Such is the wonderful number of keys and locks of this building, which amount to several thousands {1608/1612I instead{4000}1608/1612I instead}, that there is a special officer to look after them only, called the master of the keys.
233.22. The form of the monastery is four-square, and every side is two hundred and twenty-four paces long. Only that side which is next to the palace was purposely made shorter than the other three, so that the circumference or external shape of the abbey might represent the form of the square of a gridiron, because St. Laurentius, to whom the building was dedicated, was broiled to death on a gridiron. {not in 1624LParergon/1641S{The monks, who number three hundred, and as I have told before belong to the order of St. Hieronymus, inhabit no more than one third of the whole building.
233.23. Their yearly revenues amount to 35,000 {not in 1606E{Spanish}not in 1606E} ducats. The other part of the revenues they bestow on the king and his family}not in 1624LParergon/1641S}. To conclude, it is furnished with so many halls, parlours, chambers and other closets and rooms as are needed in a house, that there is room enough to entertain and lodge four kings and their courts at once, so that it may rightly claim the first place among the greatest miracles of the world}1624LParergon/1641S end here}.
233.24. FINIS.}1603L, 1606E, 1609/1612S/L & 1624LParergon/1641S end here}.
233.25. {1608/1612I only{Around this very admirable church, as Filippo Pigafetta adds, long columns of jaspis have been found, with golden heads and foundations. They have been sstrengthened with diamonds rather than iron, a match for their durability, and what is more, they were worn out by them. The tabernacle can be found above the large altar, one side turned outward towards the church, the other inward, where a door can be opened through which the most holy consacrated wafer can be taken out and can be returned. Its place is a large cup with a significant base, also in the form of a cup, all made of sapphire.
233.26. There are two church steeples. The one on the side of the monastery has normal bells signalling the moments of prayer. The other has sixty large, medium and small church bells which are precisely struck by means of keys. John of Flanders the organ player produces motets, madrigals and similar music on them, to the great surprise of the audience. The church is not often open, and you may hear masses from the low choir stall which is closed off by iron fences. Franciscus Sweertius does not comment on the sepulchral monument and graves which can be found below the high choir stall near the tomb with the remains of Austrian royalty. In this choir and in the most important chapel their names and inscriptions can be found, in eternal light and continuous prayer.
233.27. The six excessively large columns at the front gable of the church were sculpted from the dark kind of stone called Marovegno, hewn by an unknown hand. The space where the main square presents itself is covered with tiles like a work of mosaic; it used to be a mountain which was dug away and flattened, and the earth has been removed, resulting in another mountain, so that one may renew the motto on the pillar here in Rome, on the Forum Romanum: Ad declarandum quantŠ altitudinis mons & locus tantis operibus sit egestus [to declare how high the mountain and the place where these works have been carried out].
233.28. The king chose the area at the foot of the Segovia mountains (which from the Pyrenee mountains onwards with a high mountain range and a snowy ridge reach the ocean of Portugal, separating Old Castilia from New Castilia) as a result of which water sprung up in abundance, as well as forests, huge rocks and steep slopes of black stone, suitable as building material. The air is not so healthy here, since the mountain ridges hinder the wind to blow freely, and winter is harsh here. Yet the brothers spend the night here when travelling. At a distance of half a mile there is the main road of Castilia, crossing mountain ridges. There dense woods called the woods of Segovia, provide leasure to the king in the warm season. And in the plain leading towards Madrid, two other splendid palaces, namely Pardo and Araziez offer pleasure and shelter}1608/1612I only, which ends here}.

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