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Leo Belgicus facts for kids

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Leo belgicus
Claes Jansz. Visscher, 1609.
Leo Belgicus
Jodocus Hondius, 1611

The Leo Belgicus is a map of the former Low Countries (the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and a small part of northern France). They are drawn in the shape of a lion. The Leo Belgicus that came first was drawn by the Austrian cartographer Michael Aitzinger in 1583. The Netherlands were fighting the Eighty Years' War for freedom at this time. There were three different drawings. In the most common one, the lion's head was found in the northeast part of the country and the tail in the southeast part of the country. The most famous version is the drawing of Claes Janszoon Visscher. It was made in 1609 when the Twelve Years' Truce was written. The third version was made late in the war. It was made after the freedom of the Dutch Republic was given in the Peace of Westphalia of the year 1648. It is called the Leo Hollandicus, the Holland Lion, and shows only the province of Holland.

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