Giovanni Andrea Banzoli

        Giovanni Andrea Banzoli was born in Reggio Emilia on 9 April 1668 to the wealthy merchant Pellegrino Banzoli and Barbara Marmiroli. As their second son, it was soon decided that he would go into the priesthood, and he was ordained on 7 March 1692.

          The first records of Banzolis work as a cartographer date back to 1701, when he surveyed an estate that belonged to the Presbyterial Association. Between 1716 and 1717 he compiled two volumes about the real estate of theComuna Gallanareligious community. However, he was to produce his most exceptional output in 1720.

          He drew up a historical atlas (Atlante Storico) of the Duchy of Reggio Emilia for theComuna Gallana, as well as four large maps. They showed: a perspective view of the city; a plan of the urban drains and channels; the course of the Secchia canal; and the Reggio Emilia district as a whole, with its watercourses marked. He donated all of them to the Commune of Reggio Emilia, specifying that they were for the use of the citizens and scholars. To show its gratitude, the Commune had the maps framed and this is how they can still be seen today.

          Although Banzoli did not follow precise geometrical rules in the scale of the maps, still today they serve as irreplaceable resources for research and studies into the town planning and social history of Reggio Emilia. His work as a surveyor was also significant, but Banzolis truly great contribution was in the field of cartography.

He was almost completely forgotten by the time he died in Reggio at the age of 67 on 23 December 1734.




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