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Welcome to Bargrave's travels and collection. From here you can explore locations from Bargrave's travels and browse selected items from his "Cabinets of Curiosities" by selecting Explore Travels or by selecting Explore Collection.

Holy Roman Empire


Bronze Imperial Eagle

The Empire's extent varied over its history, but at its peak it incorporated territories embracing present-day Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, as well as significant parts of modern-day northern and eastern France, northern Italy, and Poland. For much of its history the Empire consisted of hundreds of smaller sub-units, principalities, duchies, counties, Free Imperial Cities, as well as other domains. It was ruled over by an elected monarch, the Holy Roman Emperor who frequently had trouble maintaining any semblance of authority. Despite its name the Empire did not include Rome within its borders.

During the course of his travels Bargrave travelled through the Alps into the southern part of the Holy Roman Empire, sometimes referred to as High Germany. From his catalogue we know that he travelled into the county of Tyrol, formerly part of the Holy Roman Empire but now part of Austria, and from there journeyed into the recently-established electorate of Bavaria, now part of present-day Germany. Interestingly, and perhaps wisely, Bargrave makes no mention of the Thirty Years War (1618-48) which had ripped apart the Empire and resulted in extensive destruction of entire regions by marauding armies. Beginning as a series of disputes between Catholic and Protestant within the Empire, the conflict had soon spread across Europe to become a more general conflict. By the time Bargrave visited this region it had largely come to an end.

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