The publishing house which Willem Blaeu founded in Amsterdam came to occupy a pre-eminent position in the world of map-making under his son, Joan. The two-volume townbook of the Netherlands, in which this plate appears, was one of the firm’s finest productions. The plan-view of Liège is probably the finest in the Belgian volume, and is in unusually large format because of its importance. The etching by Julius Milheuser freezes the city at a significant point in its history. Despite the general calm introduced by the Treaty of Westphalia, the year 1649 was to see the crushing of a popular revolt in Liège against the prince-bishops of Bavaria. The result would be the loss of ancient privileges and the erection of a citadel to counter further turbulence.