Celestial globe

Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Amsterdam, after 1621,
wood, brass, papier maché, plaster, wooden frame with plate and central column to guide the meridian ring, four lathed columns on articulated feet carrying the horizon ring with gradations, points of the compass, signs of the zodiac and a calendar; meridian ring with 4 x 90° and hour ring made of brass; below Eridanus is the scale for the brightness of the stars; Löwen collection;
ball diameter: 35 cm

STRALSUND MUSEUM owns a collection of scientific instruments, many of which are acquired from the estate of the Swedish Governor General, Count Axel Löwen (1686-1772).

Among the rarities of international standing included in this collection is the celestial globe by the Dutch cartographer and publisher, Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571–1638). He comes from what is known as the golden age of Dutch cartography, centred at the time in Amsterdam. Blaeu is a student of the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), whom he commemorates with a depiction and an inscription on this globe.

In ascribing the decorative forms of the stellar positions on the globe to their correct alignments, the cartographer draws on the calculations produced by his teacher Brahe, presenting the constellations figuratively, as was the tradition of the age. Another inscription with a portrait shows the Dutch politician and field marshal, Johann Moritz, Prince of Nassau-Siegen (1571-1638). He belongs to one of the many branches of the House of Nassau, which also produced the line of Orange. Not only is Johann Moritz of Nassau-Siegen a sophisticated politician and diplomat, he also excels in the fields of architecture, horticulture and landscape gardening.


Text: R.N.

The exhibit refers to:

Western Pomerania until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:



Mönchstraße 25-28
18439 Stralsund