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Cartographica Helvetica


Arthur Dürst:

The 'Suvorov Atlas'

Cartographica Helvetica 21 (2000) 3–16


1999 marks the 200th anniversary of the Russian army's campaign through the Alps under the command of General Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov (1729–1800). For this occasion the 'Suvorov Atlas', which was presented to Czar Alexander I in 1804, has now been published. It shows the battles and march routes through the eastern part of Switzerland. The most accurate map of Switzerland at that time (Atlas Suisse 1796 to 1802 by Johann Rudolf Meyer, Johann Heinrich Weiss and Joachim Eugen Müller) served as the topographic base for the manuscript atlas produced by Suvorov's staff after the campaign.

The first part of the article describes maps which show all or parts of the operational area and could have been useful to Suvorov and his staff during the campaign. The author mentions Nova Helvetiae Tabula Geographica by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1712/1713), the cantonal maps by Gabriel Walser from the Atlas Novus Reipublicae Helveticae (1756 to 1768) as well as maps from Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly's Schauplatz der Fünf Theile der Welt (1796 to 1797).

The individual map sheets of the 'Suvorov Atlas' are discussed in the second part of the article. The seven maps, which are almost like watercolor paintings, contain the battles described in a logbook. However, the author intentionally limits himself to the cartographic-historical aspects.

This historically unique and up to now unpublished original is the property of the National Russian Military Archives in Moscow. The 'Suvorov Atlas' has been published for the first time this year as a reproduction to 55% of its original size.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Die kartographischen Voraussetzungen und Folgen des Feldzuges von 1799 in der Schweiz. Der Atlas Suworow. Zürich, 2000.
  • Reproduction under discussion: Atlas des Feldzuges der Kaiserlich Russischen Truppen in der Schweiz unter dem Oberbefehl von Generalissimus Fürst Italijski Graf Suworow im Jahre 1799. Erstveröffentlichung aus dem Russischen Staatlichen Militärhistorischen Archiv. ed. Arthur Dürst, Irina O. Garkuscha, Jürg Stüssi-Lauterburg. Zürich, 2000.

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