Mobile menu

Printed and manuscript maps, prints and views of 22 seventeenth-century wars


Siege of Candia, 1648

CANDIA c.1648-51

Etching; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B) | Scale: 1:6,500 approx. | RCIN 723080

Your share link is...


A high oblique view and map of the city of Candia, besieged from 1 May 1648 to 27 September 1669 by the Turks, and defended by Venetian forces under Captain-General Francesco Morosini (26 February 1619-16 January 1694) who ultimately gave up the city and ceded Crete to the Ottomans in 1669. Cretan War (Fifth Ottoman-Venetian War) (1645-1669). Oriented with south to top (compass rose). 

This print is very close in style and content to another view-map combination entitled CITTA DI CANDIA ASSEDIATA which was published in 1651 as plate 25 in Marco Boschini’s Il regno tutto di Candia. Boschini’s 1651 map of the siege has additional details which suggest that it shows a slightly later stage in the siege. The scale bar of RCIN 723080 is drawn to 400 unnamed units of measure. Passi have been selected as the probable measure, based on the text in the keys on the map which give the dimensions of various features according to ‘Passi’. At the same time, this supposition is supported by Boschini’s map which is drawn to a scale of ‘400 pasea’. It is possible, therefore, that RCIN 723080 is a precursor, perhaps also by Boschini, to his publication of 1651 and therefore shows an early stage in the siege.

The most notable feature of the detail of this print is the engraving of the parallel trenches which the Turks had constructed with the advice of Italian engineers. It is recorded that Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707) developed his theories and practice of the use of parallel trenches on the basis of the Turkish example in this siege of Candia. Apparently, the great number of parallels that sprang off the approach trenches, and were not even connected to each other, indicated an inefficient use of labour (Ostwald, p.58).

  • Anonymous (printmaker)

  • Watermark: The letter B

    Condition: one fold line

  • Scale: 1:6,500 approx. Scale bar: Scalla [93 mm = 400 unspecified units; scale has been computed according to passi of 1,500 mm].

    38.6 x 56.0 cm (image and neatline)

    cropped (platemark)

    38.9 x 56.6 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    CANDIA [top left, left of centre]

    Additional text:

    [left, a key, A-I, K-T, V to military installations and, right, another key to further military features, 1-14.]


    George III heading: Candia 1648.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Candia A Plan of the City of Candia with the approaches and attacks of the Turks in 1648.

  • From the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-22 October 1657); inherited by his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689); sold by Carlo Antonio’s grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Heraklion [Candia, Irákleion], Crete, Greece (35°19ʹ40ʺN 25°08ʹ36ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Mark McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 3203

    J. Ostwald, Vauban under siege: engineering efficiency and martial vigour in the War of the Spanish Succession, Leiden 2007

Page revisions