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Maps of the Holy Land 1500 - 1900



Terra Sancta, Canaan, Promised Land, 12 Tribes, Iudae et Israhel, Israel - Judea, Judea - Samaria - Galilee, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Palestine (Mandate), Land of Israel



This collection of maps of the Holy Land, crossroads of the world (the silk and spice routes) and continents (Africa, Asia and Europe), and an area with the longest mapping history in the world, covers here predominantly the period 1500 – 1900. The earliest maps build on he known world in Ptolemy's time, however limited, from which later map making traditions stem. While the subject is mostly the tribal distribution of the Holy Land as per Biblical promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the past and future, the embellishments are clearly from the age of enlightenment, as evidenced by the map makers beautiful cartouches from the period of 1600 to 1800, showing scenes of the Old Testament (Moses on Sinai, the Temple, Priests, the Ark), but also of Romans times in the New Testament (Jesus' crucifixion, Roman soldiers), before it was renamed 'Palestine' by the Romans in 135AD, some hundred years after Christ's death and resurrection. Jerusalem, city of peace, was also renamed 'Colonia Aelia Capitolina', named after the Roman cult of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva).

John 3:14-15

The area, in particular the Christian Holy places, was of great interest to the Byzantines, and the subsequent Crusaders must have used maps to find their own way around from Europe. Suffering four hundred years of stagnation under the yoke of the Ottomans, no geographical information was added to the subject of Palestine maps, since the land was a barren waste and largely uninhabited, until the modern age, when the names Judea, Samaria and Galilee are again in common use. This more 'recent' period of 1800 - 1900 is mostly represented by functional school atlas maps, without the embellishments that make the earlier maps so interesting, but often with insets of city maps of Jerusalem, that are similarly useful.

1891 - 1901 - 1903 Jerusalem



CNTL +/- for larger/smaller


1535 Ortelius, Terra Sancta, Upside down map

1540, Sebastian Munster, Terra Sancta XVI Nova Tabula, HiRes

1540, Munster, Terra Sancta XVI Nova Tabula 'Ptolemy Geographia Universalis'

1545 Munster, Terra Sancta XXIII Nova Tabula - Upside Down Map, HiRes

1570 Ortelius Terra Sancta

1572 Ortelius, Terra Sancta from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Antwerp, HiRes

1581 H. Bunting, Holy Land, from Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae

1586, Ortelius, 'Abrahams Wanderings and Life' HiRes

1588, Munster, Das_Heilig_Lande mit der 12 Geschlechten, HiRes

1592, Ortelius, Heiliges Land Israel Palaestina

1632 Mercator Hondius, Holy Land

1632 Mercator Hondius, Holy Land, HiRes

1635 Willem Blaeu, Holy Land from 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum', HiRes.jpg

1635, Ortelius (Christiano Schrot), Terra Sancta, with Jona and the Fish

1657, Visscher, De Gelegentheyt van 't Paradys ende 't Land Canaan

1659 Nicolaas Visscher, Holy Land

1679 Gulielmo Sanson, Israel et Iuda

1680 Frederik de Wit, Terra Sancta sive Promissiones

1680 Apostles and Paul's travels by N Visscher

1698 Teodor Dankerts, Holy Land

1698, Nouvelle Carte de la Terre Sainte, Judea Samaria

1699 Huberto Taillot, Iudaea seu Terra Sancta

1700 Gulielmo Sanson, Iudaea seu Terra Sancta Hebraeorum sive Israelitarum

1725 Seutter, Augsburg, the Holy Land

1730 Homann, Terra Sancta Iudaea sue Palestina Iuda Israel

1738 Wells, the Holy Land Israel Palestine

1750 Homann (Ferdinando), Map of Israel - Palestine - Holy Land - 12 Tribes, HiRes

1759 August_Vindel, map Holy Land and 12 Tribes, HiRes

1759, Ludovico Magno, Holy Land and 12 Tribes, HiRes

1763 brothers de L'isle, Terrae Sanctae Tabula

1791 R Bonne J Lattre, Twelve Tribes of Israel - Twaalfstammenrijk

1794 R Wilkinson, Canaan or the land of promise to Abraham

1849 Atlas Map of Ottoman Palestine by Alexander G. Findlay

1865 Spruner, Detailed map of the Holy Land, HiRes

1850 Ottoman Palestine / Holy Land

1891 Ottoman Palestine / Holy Land

1893 Ottoman Palestine / Holy Land

1897 Palestine part of Turkey / Holy Land

1903 Ottoman Palestine / Holy Land

1945 Palestine and (Trans)Jordan under British Mandate 1918-1948.jpg / Holy Land







Holy Land History:



Memorable Quotes on the Holy Land


Genesis 14:13

“Abr(a)ham was a Hebrew, from whom all Arabs descend”


King David, 1000BC:

"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget how to play the harp."


Martin Luther, 1538, 'Against the Sabbatarians: Letter to a good friend’

"Let them go to that country and to Jerusalem, build their temple, the priesthood, and submit to the law, and raise Moses with his law so they will be Jews again and possess the land. If that would happen, they would quickly find us behind them to become Jews ourselves”.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616):

"I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land"

"To wash this blood off from my guilty hand."


Bishop Thomas Newton 1754:

"They are dispersed among all nations, yet not confounded with any… After wars massacres and persecutions, they are still subsist, they are quite numerous. What supernatural power could have preserved the Jews in such a manner as no other nation on earth has been preserved? "


US President John Adams, 1797-1801 to Jefferson:

"I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation."


US President John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829:

"I believe in the rebuilding of Judea as an independent nation.."


Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, on return of the Jews to their ancient homeland:

"a noble dream and one shared by many Americans"


Mary Lincoln-Todd, in 1865, on Lincoln's death:

"He was saying there was no city he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. And with the words half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered the brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above."


Mark Twain, in 1867, Innocents Abroad p. 361-362:

"..... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse.... a desolation.... we never saw a human being on the whole route.... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

“A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”


Teddy Roosevelt, ardent Zionist, in 1918, on return of the Jews to their ancient homeland:

"It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist state around Jerusalem,’ for peace would only happen if Jews were given Palestine.”


President Woodrow Wilson, in 1918, on return of the Jews to their ancient homeland:

"The allied nations with the fullest concurrence of our government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.”


President Truman on May 14, 1948, the first to recognize Israel's independance after the UN vote:

"The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel."

"I believe it has a glorious future before it - not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."


Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, 1950s:

"If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert."

"We can defeat the Arabs a hundred times, and still have the same problem. They only need to defeat us once, and we are done for."


Pres candidate John F Kennedy, 1959:

"“Let us make it clear that we will never turn our backs on our steadfast friends in Israel, whose adherence to the democratic way must be admired by all friends of freedom.”


President Dwight Eisenhower, 1957 on return of the Jews to their ancient homeland:

""Our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well."

"The health of our society depends upon a deep and abiding respect for the basic commandments of the God of Israel."


Mosje Dayan, in 'Story of my life' on land purchases in the 1930s:

"we purchased the land from Arabs - often at very inflated prices - and set up Jewish villages where there had once been Arab villages"

"After a cabinet decision, the Israeli government announced that all refugees who went to Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait, and who wished to return would be allowed to do so up to August 10, 1067. But very few did. They had to go through the Jordanian government, who held them up and placed obstacles in their way"

"Masada shall not fall again" (Mosje Dayan instituted this swearing in ceremony for the Armoured Corps soldiers atop Mt Massada


Author Hans Habe, 'In King David's Footsteps', 1970s:

"Why don't the Arabs want our hospitals and street lights? Because it means we are here to stay."


Golda Meir, 'My Life', 1970s:

"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate ours."


Abba Eban, 16 Dec 1970s:

"If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions."


Efraim Kishon:

"Israel is a country surrounded on all side by enemies, but the people's headaches are caused by the neighbors upstairs"


President Ronald Reagan, 1987:

"For the people of Israel and America are historic partners in the global quest for human dignity and freedom. We will always remain at each other's side."


"Persecution is the prime differentiator in numbers between two 5000year old cultures of the Chinese and the Jews"


President Donald Trump, 2017:

"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”


the Apostle Paul, in Romans 11:26-27:

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins”




Some Middle-East History:

Youtube: Hatikvah, de hoop van 2000 jaar / Hope of 2000 years (Sheetmusic here)

Josephus' timeline and description of the destruction of Jerusalem 70AD - 'not one stone left on another'

Emperor Vespasian's building of Rome's coloseum using Jewish slaves

40 maps of middle east history

Jewish land purchases in pre-1947 Palestine

And did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon Palestine's mountain greens?

millennia of relentless persecution





Beacon of light





Temporal thought: "Born once, Die twice; Born twice, Die once"

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