Panoramic View or Map of Rome by Matthus Merian (1652)

Panoramic View or Map of Rome by Matthus Merian, 1642 ca

A detailed panoramic view by Matthus Merian using the late XVI century eastward oriented model and published in 1652 A.D. which shows Rome right after the city's re-organization completed by Pope Sixtus V.


The map has been built using an axonometric projection which allows visualizing many buildings that disappeared (after being demolished or falling into ruin) during the Baroque period; in particular many early churches appear in their pre-XVII century original form.

Interesting factsEdit

The mistery columnEdit

Column of Antoninus Pius

Column of Anoninus Pius - detail from Matthus Merian's Panoramic View, 1652 ca

In the map the Column of Antoninus Pius is depicted in its entirety but excavation records from 1703 A.D. report that the biggest part of this ancient monument was interred in the 16th century (the map is from those times).

A Pope's dreamEdit

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo - detail from Matthus Merian's Panoramic View, 1652 ca

The Pope was determined to clean up the streets of Rome, which at the time where dark, dirty and tortuous, from prostitutes; he failed in his civil intentions but succeeded in reorganizing streets and plazas; Piazza del Popolo (Platea Populi, far left in the map), with its spacious opening, ending point of straight roads converging towards a central obelisk (placed there to attract pilgrims' focus during processions and marches), is a clear example of what he achieved.

The Plaza is just one of the many centers he created for those public ceremonies that became so important to the Curch of Rome during the Counter-Reformation.