The book – album “Terra Mariana. 1186–1888” reflects the history of Christian faith in the territory of Latvia and Estonia – Livonia at the time, land that used to be known by the name of Terra Mariana. This book was originally published in one copy in 1888, Riga. The Baltic – Polish nobility bestowed the book to the pope Leo XIII. The original of the book is now available at the Vatican Apostolic Library.
In 2007 the National Library of Latvia and the Vatican Apostolic Library signed an agreement of co-publishing that envisaged publishing of the album “Terra Mariana.1186-1888” – including the publishing of 10 full-size facsimile editions and a thousand reduced size facsimile editions with a complementary volume of detailed scientific commentary.
In 2008 – 2009 the ten full-size facsimile editions were printed in the Italian print house ‘Franco Cosimo Panini Editore.S.p.a.’, often chosen to carry out such print works due to its vast experience in this field. In 2011 the facsimile editions of the album were transported to Riga, but in March 2014 the preparation and publishing of the thousand pieces of the reduced size editions and scientific commentary were finished.
In the 70 parchment pages of the book-album one can find rich visual and textual material on Livonian castles, ruins, churches, noble families and their coats of arms, seal stamps, historical figures, as well as pressed copies of antique silver and gold coins.
In 2015 the Association of Latvian Book Publishers in the competition “Zelta ābele” (‘Golden Apple-tree’) recognized ‘Terra Mariana. 1186–1888’ for its high artistic value and awarded it with a prize in the nomination ‘Scientific book’.
Scintific editor – Andris Levāns
Artist – Aivars Plotka