The great map of Cuba of 1835

Versión en español

Gérard Bouvin, head of the Maps library (Cartes et plans)  of the Royal Library of Belgium, presented at the Map Afternoon 2016 a singular work: the great map of Cuba based on a survey made from 1824 to 1831, and printed in Barcelona in 1835.

It is the first map in which the island of Cuba was depicted with such great detail, particularly the inland regions. It is a monumental work composed of 6 large sheets, as can be seen in the photograph.

Mapa de Cuba de 1835 en Bruselas

Bouvin explained that the main motivation for making the map was a military one: facilitating the defense of the island from potential British or American attacks. For this reason, the Spanish government initially planned to keep the map a state secret, with restricted distribution. However, the need to reimburse the printing costs finally led to the printing of 2,000 copies.

Cartela del mapa.

Several high-resolution scans of this map can be found in the web, for example at the website of the Instituto Cartográfico de Cataluña.

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