The first road map of Spain


The first road map of Spain

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It was the “Marques de la Ensenada” who commissioned the realization of the first road map with the aim of improving the administration of the territory, and therefore improve communications and trade.

The map was made between 1739 and 1743 by the Jesuits Carlos Martínez and Claudio de la Vega, and although it had some inaccuracies, the cartographic representation is of great quality.

In it the communications network was represented by fine red and black lines and the use of signs served to indicate the situation of walled squares, bridges, steps of boats, mills, etc.

It only included the peninsular territory except “Galicia, Asturias, León and Castilla la Vieja (less Ávila and Logroño)”. These territories are not represented because the geometrical operations necessary for the elevation of the map had not been carried out there.

Despite being incomplete, it was the most perfect map of Spain made up to that date. The borders of the kingdoms and provinces are indicated. And in Andalusia those of the bishoprics. The map is divided into 36 sheets of 36 centimeters by 37 centimeters, and on a scale of 1: 445,866.

The map remained forgotten until 1904 when it was integrated into the Royal Geographical Society. Today it is in the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional).

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