Old Maps of Europe: Vintage Prints (Free PDF Maps)

Europe-map-1898

COVID-19: The information in this post is updated as much as possible in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Please check the status of flights, activities etc. before you depart, as entry requirements and restrictions are constantly changing at a fast pace.

Have you ever admired the delicate detail and artistry of those old-fashioned vintage maps? 

I’ve been a passionate fan of vintage world maps for as long as I can remember. Everything from the ancient to the modern world, from the Roman Empire until today, I used to pour over a large historical atlas in my spare time as a young boy, and I especially loved globes.

My favourite was an enormous medieval globe that my friend’s parents kept in their living room – it was a reddish, bronze colour, standing a meter high. Whenever I visited their house, I was absolutely fascinated by it.

In this post I’ve put together a collection of vintage maps of Europe, from the 18th til the 20th centuries. These historical maps depict not only the decorative cartographic styles of the era, but also the ever-changing political landscape of European borders and the colonial empires of Great Britain, Germany and France prior to World War 1.

Each map in this post comes with a link to high resolution, full printable PDF versions. Simply click on the map to download your free copy – they make perfect wallpaper art!

Scroll on to read Old Maps of Europe: Vintage Prints (Free PDF Maps)

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Map of Europe, circa 1898

Here’s a vintage map of Europe by a German cartographer, circa 1898. As you can see, Europe’s borders and states were almost completely different just over a century ago. There are the French, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish and British empires here (Reich meaning empire in German).

You can download the full quality printable PDF here:

Europe-map-1898

Map of Europe, circa 1914

The following map by Shepherd, depicts the political landscape of Europe from 1871 til the start of World War 1 in 1914.

You can download the full quality printable PDF here:

Europe_1914_Shepherd

Map of Switzerland, 19th Century

A map by George Philip & Sons of Liverpool, of Switzerland from the 19th Century. The borders of Switzerland remain almost identical, as the country remained relatively undisturbed throughout the turbulent events of Europe’s conflicts and ever-shifting land borders of the 19th and 20th centuries, mainly in part due to its snow-capped Alpine surroundings that provided Switzerland with protection from invaders.

Download the full quality PDF here:

vintage-map-of-switzerland-geo

Map of Italy, circa 1898

Another vintage map by German cartographers, of Italy, from 1898. Being a peninsula country, Italy remains noticeably identical today, with the exception of the land border which was slightly different back then.

Download the full quality PDF here:

Italy-1898

Map of Poland, 19th Century

Another map by the cartographers George Philip & Sons, this one from the mid-19th Century of Poland before its partition by Prussia, Austria and Russia. 

Download the full quality PDF here:

Vintage-map-of-Poland

Bartholomew's Citizens Atlas of the World, 1892

The following are a collection of vintage maps of European countries from Bartholmew’s Citizen Atlas of the World, 1898. Feel free to click on the links to download the full-quality PDF versions.

Map of Spain and Portugal

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Spain-and-Portugal

Map of Holland and Belgium

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Holland-Belgium

Map of Italy

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Vintage-Map-of-Italy-Citizen-Atlas 1892

Map of Russia in Europe

A detailed vintage map of the Russian Empire in Europe in 1892. You can see here countries like Finland, the Baltic states, the Caucus region and much of Eastern Europe was part of the Russian Empire. Over on the east, the map stops at the Ural Mountain range, which marks the border between Europe and Asia.

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Russia-in-Europe

Map of France (northern section)

Download the full-quality PDF here:

France-Northern-Section-s

Map of France (southern section)

Download the full-quality PDF here:

France-southern-section-s

Maps of Scandinavia

Denmark

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Denmark

Sweden and Norway

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Sweden-Norway

Maps of the British Isles

The following are maps of the British Isles including: England, Scotland, Great Britain, and maps of London.

Map of Great Britain, circa 1898

Another map by German cartographers from the late 19th century, showing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (at the time, all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom). At this point, Great Britain held sway over the largest empire the world had ever seen.

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Great-Britain-Ireland-German-Atlas

Map of Great Britain, circa 1720

An earlier map of Great Britain by Herman Moll, from 1720. Its interesting to see how cartography and mapping evolved and became more accurate over the years, when you compare them side by side.

Download the full-quality PDF here:

A_new_map_of_Great_Britain_Herman-Moll-1720

Map of England and Wales

Download the full-quality PDF here:

England-and-wales

Map of Scotland

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Scotland-map

Map of London, circa 1935

An enormous and highly detailed map of the English capital, London. Download the full-quality PDF here:

london map 1935

Map of the German Empire, circa 1898

A fascinating map displaying the German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in central Europe. The aqua-blue region is the Kingdom of Prussia – the main state in the German Empire that pushed for the unification of Germany.

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Germany-German-Atlas

Map of Berlin, Germany. 1898

A map of the city of Berlin, the capital and largest city of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire.

Download the full-quality PDF here:

Berlin-city-map-1898

Commonly Asked Questions

 

What was the first country in Europe?

Formed in AD 301, San Marino is officially the oldest sovereign state in Europe and in the world. It is also the oldest constitutional republic and one of the smallest countries in the world, with a size of just over 24 square miles. Source: oldest.org

The first kingdom in Europe is the Kingdom of Denmark, with it’s monarchy going back to prehistoric times of the legendary kings. The first attested historical king is Ongendus in the year 710.

 

 

Which countries existed in Europe in 1900?

The sovereign states of Europe in the year 1900:

  • Andorra
  • Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia-Slavonia
  • French Republic
  • German Empire
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Kingdom of Norway and Sweden
  • Lietchenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russian Empire
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
  • The Vatican

Why did the map of Europe change after WW1?

The end of the First World War marked a shift in power of Europe’s empires, redrawing the world map and reshaping many borders in Europe. The collapse of the Russian Empire created Poland, Finland, the Ukraine and the Baltics. The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The German Empire became Germany (whom lost its overseas colonies), and the Ottoman Empire became Turkey.

 

 

How is the modern map of Europe different from the ancient map of Europe?

The modern European map shows much more accurately drawn land masses, detail and scaling that the ancient maps don’t show. The modern maps also display the most up to date land borders and names of cities, counties and states that didn’t exist before. The ancient maps were designed following the styles and way of thinking of the ancient eras, often with themes and illustrations on the maps that tell stories, whereas modern maps are more universal and recognised across all different cultures.

 

 

What is the oldest city in Europe?

Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is considered the oldest city in Europe. Having been inhabited since 6,000 BC, the city was originally a Thracian settlement, and was conquered in the 4th Century BC byPhilip II of Macedon – the father of Alexander the Great.

 

 

How old is Europe?

The European continent saw massive migrations from the east and southeast during the Neolithic era (7000 BC), and the genetic lineage of Europe mysteriously transformed around 2,500 BC according to new research in the journal Nature Communications. Source: livescience.com

More Vintage Maps:

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my post:

Old Maps of Europe: Vintage Prints (Free PDF Maps)

 

Stay tuned for more free vintage maps of the United States coming soon!

 


Book Your Trip: Budget Tips & Tricks

 

Flights:

As always, I source the cheapest flights on the web from Skyscanner and Kiwi.com. They are considered the top flight search engines for the best deals.

Accommodation:

I use Booking to find fantastic cheap stays with free cancellation options. 

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance will protect you from theft, injury, illness, and cancellations. A safety net in case anything goes wrong, I never leave without it. World Nomads is my favourite agent for total peace of mind.

Tours:

I book all my fave activities and guided tours on Get Your Guide & Viator – they do superb deals whilst offering excellent customer support.

Head over to my Travel Tools page for all my best travel tips & advice and everything you need for your trip.

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Billy

Billy

Lover of epic adventures, budget travel, and fine coffee. When not travelling, Billy teaches dance, and creates performances on commissioned projects.

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Hey there! I’m Billy, the guy behind BRB | Gone Somewhere Epic. I’ve been travelling around the world for six years, having an absolute blast going on epic adventures, without breaking the bank. Click here to read more about the art of budget travel.

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