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Alfred Oberli:

The 1:25,000 'Environs de Fribourg' map by Johann Conrad Werdmüller, c. 1847

Cartographica Helvetica 13 (1996) 3–8


It is a rare case of fortune to find an undamaged, original printing plate thought to be lost for 150 years. Intensive research has revealed its date as well as its author. In 1847 Johann Conrad Werdmüller (1826–1849), one of Guillaume Henri Dufour's gifted collaborators, engraved the map Environs de Fribourg 1: 25,000, size 24.5 x 19 cm, perhaps for his final examination or as a masterpiece during his apprenticeship.

He must have used one of Dufour's original coloured planetable sheets as a basis, which, for the canton of Fribourg, were mapped under the direction of Casimir Napoléon Alexandre Stryieński and used for the Topographic Map of Switzerland 1:100,000.

On the Carte topographique du Canton de Fribourg, published in 1855, there were new roads which did not appear on Werdmüller's map. Environs de Fribourg 1: 25,000 by Werdmüller is therefore a further document showing the already rapid evolution of the countryside at that time. Unfortunately Johann Conrad Werdmüller died in 1849 in Geneva at the age of only 23.

The author is also discussing the very interesting development of the city of Fribourg.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: «Environs de Fribourg» 1:25,000. Murten, 1995.

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