Michelot and Bremond

Barcelona, Spain port and fortification plan

Plan de la Ville et Port de Barcelone du Fort de Mont Jouy et l'Etat ou ils Entoeint en 1697

DESCRIPTION: One of the first port plans of Barcelona, Spain (from 1727) created for navigational purposes in an atlas for the Mediterranean Sea: “Recueil de Plusiers Plans des Ports et Rades de la Mer Mediterranee". This chart was published by the team of Henri Michelot and Laurens Bremond, both associated with the French Royal Galley Corps. In their business relationship it appears that Bremond provided the retail space in the port of Marseille, France where this chart, as well as other atlases and nautical prints were sold. Michelot, the chief pilot or"Pilote Hauturière" for the galley service provided the name recognition and authority needed for the charts to sell widely.

The chart covers from Mont-Jouy ( Montjuïc ) in the West to the far Eastern walls at Barcelona's edge. The chart shows Barcelona's fortifcations with numerous bastions; redoubts, gun batteries, windmills, the arsenal, and 5 entrances into the city: the Porte de Mont-Jout; Porte St. Antoine; Porte de l'Ange; Porte Neuve; and Porte de la Marine, near the harbor. Depth soundings extend only in the interrior harbor, and are intersperced with anchor symbols reflecting locations where sea-going vessels could find shelter. In the title cartouche the authors note that the plan is based on the state they observed in 1697, likely during Michelot's service for the Louis XIV's Corps des Galeres.

Henry Michelot and Laurens Bremond

Henri Michelot was an early 18th century French cartographer with a close connection to the sea. Michelot, self-described Hydrographer and Pilot of the Galere Royale or Royal Galley, was then part of a corps of approximately 40 galleys (galeres) or oared sailing vessels stationed in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast. In the Mediterranean, galleys were based primarily at the arsenal in Marseilles, France. Galleys were typically rigged with the triangular Mediterranean "Lateen" sail(s).

Bookseller and royal hydrographer Laurent Bremond "Hydrographe du Roi et de la Ville" sold charts and maritime books from his establishment in Marseille located near the port at the corner of Reboul street ( "au Coin de Reboul").

The output of Michelot and Bremond, from approximately 1715 through 1730 consisted of an atlas of 16 small-scale charts, a port book of 37 large-scale charts, and a coast pilot of the Mediterranean: "Portulan de la Mer Mediterranee, ou Guide des Pilotes Cotiers." Their work (the "Portulan" was published in several languages at least until 1805) and was a primary source of navigational information about the Mediterranean for years. The charts of Michelot and Bremond were often copied by others such as Kitchin and Roux.

CREATOR: Michelot and Bremond



BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean Sea

CONDITION: Fair.  Paper delicate. Marginal tears, and missing three small marginal pieces, outside the neatline, not affecting the printed area. A bit dark and grubby at the right side.


ENGRAVER: P. Starck-man

SIZE: 10 " x 7 "


PRICE: $200


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