The history

»Mirror of Navigation«

Seamanual, Sailing Instruction, Map Collection and Work of Art
"Der erst Theil Deß Spiegels der Seefart von der Nordschen das ist Mittnachtigen, und Orientischen Schiffart: Nemlich von den Hoeffden oder dem Vorlãde von Engelland abe biß gehn Wyburgk und der Statt Nerua. In viel Seearten (sampt ordentlich practisiertem gebrauch derselbigen) mit grossem fleiß zu sammen getragen: Durch den kunstreichen, hocherfahrne und weitberuhmbten Piloten und Schiffs Steuerman Lucam Johannem Wagener von Enckhusen".

This is the original title of the first volume of the innovative work by Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer (circa 1533-1606), a helmsman and pilot from the Dutch town of Enkhuizen. This first printed, large-sized sailing manual with an extensive collection of seacharts started a new epoque in the history of nautical cartographie.

Waghenaers style, to draw the coastal line like the Portuguese did with a thin external line and to suggest the flat and high banks with inclined lines and obtain by these dark and light shadowing graphic effects, did involve a number of successors. Likewise often copied was his habit to show the harbours, port entrances and seatowns in a larger scale than the surrounding coastal ways on the map.

Over one century people copied and oriented themselves at this excellent and modern seachart atlas, in which each chart alternated with comments and descriptions. For a long time seacharts and sea-Atlases were simply called "Waghenaers" or in English "waggoners".


Mirror of Navigation
from Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer
within the nautical-historical context
Text: Dr. Albrecht Sauer, German Museum of Navigation, Bremerhaven
(only in german)

in winword 7.0-format

in RTF-format


The seaman talks about the Mirror of Navigation

"The seaman talks about the Mirror of Navigation" (67 KB)

Instructions and lessons about how to use this book

"Instructions and lessons about how to use this book" (88 KB)

The compass and instrument of the stars

"The compass and instrument of the stars" (30 KB)

[The Original] [The Facsimile] [The Charts] [The History] [Imprint]

[Deutsche Version]