Siege of Vienna. Map of fortifications against the Turks, 1683. Original title “Vienne, Ville forte Capitale de l’Archiduche d’Autriche Sejour ordinaire de l’Emperor d’Occident situee sur le Danube”. A fine copperplate engraving from the French edition of “Les Forces de l’Europe” by Nicolas de Fer, published in 1693.
Vienna was besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months in 1683. The Turkish forces cut Vienna off completely so extreme hunger and fatigue set in amongst the Viennese soldiers and citizens. The town was saved from defeat by John III Sobietski, King of Poland, at the Battle of Kallenberg in September 1683. This historically significant battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire cooperated militarily against the Ottomans. Consequently the Ottoman advance on Christian territories stopped. Therefore this wonderful old map can be considered especially relevant to an event thought to be a turning point in history. As a result of the victory, John III Sobietski was celebrated by the Pope and other dignitaries as the saviour of “Christendom”.