David Fabricius of Esens: 1589

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Fabricius’ concept of what lies south of Ostfriesland. A bit fanciful in its arrangement, though most of the place names still exist. (In addition to the larger version you can get by clicking on the picture above, you can see an extremely large version of this part of the map by clicking here.)


Embden (Emden), chief port city of Ostfriesland (hence the alternate name Embderland), and the Dullert (Dollaert), a wide basin above the mouth of the river Ems (marked Embse here). You can see that Embden was a nicely protected harbor.


Aurich (spelled here Aurick) and the area around it. North of the town, Fabricius notes a blockhouse (a small fort, here called blockhús) where Edzardus fought a battle; he also marks Upstalsbom, the center of the “Friesereich,” where tribal chiefs would gather periodically to make decisions on issues that affected the whole area. Aurich is still a local administrative center. The oldest manuscripts written in Frisian are from East Frisia; many of them are legal in nature and would have probably originated here.

Most of the water bodies shown on this map no longer exist, but you can see on modern maps where they used to be. Again, the closer he is to Esens, the more accurately Fabricius draws.

Map facsimile accompanied Heft 8 of Nordseeküste, 1963, a publication of the Küstenmuseum Juist in Juist, Germany.

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