The Cartography Collection comprises in all more than 7,000 city and district plans as well as panoramic views from the 15th to the mid-20th century.
Several important items of evidence from the early period of Viennese cartography are preserved here. Thus the Wien Museum possesses the only extant copy of the oldest city map of Vienna – the so-called “Albertinischer Plan” (“Albertinian Plan”) from the second half of the 15th century (the original dates from around 1421/22). Further rarities include a circular view of the city from the time of the First Turkish Siege (1529) by Niklas Meldemann, which also integrates depictions of the fighting into its central, bird’s-eye perspective of the city. One curio of city cartography is a Turkish drawn plan of the Battle of Vienna in 1683: beside topographical features, it reproduces historical events and legendary elements from the Ottoman perspective.
Significant in a different way are two circular plans by Augustin Hirschvogel and Bonifaz Wolmuet, both from 1547. They resulted from the earliest geometrical record of the city and constitute the first known ground-plan drawings of Vienna. The Wien Museum has also been loaned one of the few preserved exemplars of Hoefnagel’s city view from 1609. This is considered to be the oldest topographically reliable illustration of the city and represents one of the most popular historical depictions of Vienna with artistic value at the same time. The large-format perspective showing the whole view of the city and its suburbs by Joseph Daniel von Huber (1769-73) is also outstanding.
At present the focus of collecting activities is on cartographic material from the periods following the two world wars. The leading principle is not necessarily to aim completeness but to collect representative and significant works.