Martin Behaim, “Earth Apple” (c. 1491–94)


The “Erdapfel” (literally: earth apple) by the chevalier Martin Behaim (1459–1507) is the oldest surviving globe. It was commissioned by the Nuremberg city council in 1492/93. The globe is now exhibited in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. It depicts the known world before Columbus’s famous voyage in 1492.


Source: Behaim Globe: Martin Behaim, Georg Glockendon the Elder, and others, Nuremberg, c. 1491–1494. Material/technique: sphere made of various composite materials, opaque colored paint, wrought-iron frame, brass horizon ring. Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg, Inv.-Nr.: WI 1826. Available online at:

© Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg. Photo: Jürgen Musolf.

Focus Behaim Globus: Teil 1: Aufsätze; Teil. 2: Katalog. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 1992.

Martin Behaim, “Earth Apple” (c. 1491–94), published in: German History Intersections, <> [November 29, 2023].