Why were globes and maps invented

Story: How the globe got rolling

We tell you a round story of the globe - and it goes back to the 15th century. Let yourself be surprised!

1492: The first globe is built

Would Martin Behaim (1459–1507) were still alive, he would certainly be an employee at Columbus in Krauchenwies - and enthusiastic about how precisely the world can be depicted on a sphere these days.

The merchant and scholar from Nuremberg was one of the first to collect and bundle knowledge about the earth, and finally to have it displayed on a globe by craftsmen and artists. His model is the oldest extant terrestrial globe, built in 1492.

Although the proportions of the continents and countries on the globe are far from correct, Martin Behaim has many Continents Marked astonishingly precisely on the globe: Europe, for example, the Mediterranean region and the coast of West Africa. Instead of America, however, a large, dark sea covers the area on his model.

Because 1492 was also the year in which Christopher Columbus first sailed to find the sea route to India westwards across the Atlantic - and instead landed in America.

Following the example of Martin Behaim, more and more globes were soon being built. Explorer and circumnavigators needed more precise representations. It was they who brought home new data about the world, which were then transferred to the globes made of wood, cardboard, plaster of paris or leather.

The original globe by Martin Behaim can still be admired: in the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg. The world's only one has more than 600 globes Globe Museum in Vienna. Where is Vienna? Just have a look at the globe!