Meyer's travel books

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Meyer's travel books appeared from 1862 to 1936 in the Bibliographisches Institut and were, up to the First World War , the highest quality and most popular travel manuals published in German alongside the “ Baedekerpublished by Verlag Karl Baedeker . Similar to the large encyclopedias in which Meyers competed with Brockhaus' Konversationslexikon , the fruitful competition between the two after the Bibliographical Institute moved to Leipzig (1874), even geographically close publishers, led to a flowering of this literary genre, which was hardly ever reached again.

1862 to 1878

Since 1862, the Bibliographisches Institut has published travel manuals for European countries and regions, which, compared to Baedeker's travel manuals, are larger in size and have a very extensive range of maps , plans , panoramas and illustrations . Beginning with the "Latest Travel Guide for Switzerland" (1862) by Hermann Alexander Berlepsch, the series was steadily expanded and in 1878 comprised the following volumes:

  • North Germany, western part
  • Northern Germany, eastern part
  • Berlin
  • Thuringia
  • Rhineland
  • South Germany
  • German Alps, western part
  • German Alps, Eastern Part
  • London, England, Scotland and Ireland
  • Paris and Northern France
  • South France
  • Switzerland
  • Suisse (in French)
  • Vienna
  • Upper Italy (in two volumes)
  • Rome and Central Italy (in two volumes)
  • Lower Italy (in two volumes)

In addition, some small-format "signposts" with significantly less equipment appeared:

  • Thuringia
  • resin
  • Giant Mountains
  • Switzerland
  • Italy in 50 days

1879 to 1914

After it became clear that Meyer's travel books in their previous form - mainly because of the significantly higher price - could not compete with Baedeker's travel manuals, the series was re-profiled. The large-format books were gradually replaced by small-format volumes; after 1898 only "Rome and the Campagna" appeared in large format. Most of the illustrations have been omitted. However, the series became more and more extensive; The "Orient Guide" published since 1881 and the "World Travel Guide" first published in 1907 deserve special mention.

In 1914 the series comprised the following volumes:

  • North Sea baths and cities on the North Sea coast
  • Baltic seaside resorts and cities on the Baltic coast
  • Rhineland
  • Harz (large and small edition)
  • Thuringia and Franconian Forest (large and small edition)
  • Dresden, Saxon Switzerland
  • Ore Mountains
  • Giant Mountains
  • Franconia and Nuremberg
  • Bavarian and Bohemian Forest
  • Black Forest
  • Upper Bavaria and Munich
  • German Alps (first to third part)
  • The high tourist in the Eastern Alps (in three volumes, by Ludwig Purtscheller and Heinrich Heß )
  • Norway, Sweden and Denmark
  • Paris and Northern France
  • Riviera, South of France, Corsica, Algeria and Tunis
  • Switzerland
  • Austria-Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Italy in 60 days
  • Northern Italy and Central Italy (to the gates of Rome)
  • Rome and the Campagna
  • Lower Italy and Sicily
  • The Mediterranean Sea and its coastal cities, Madeira and Canary Islands
  • Egypt and Sudan
  • Palestine and Syria
  • Greece and Asia Minor
  • Balkans and Constantinople
  • Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria
  • World tour (1st part: India, China and Japan; 2nd part: United States of America)

1915 to 1936

The collapse of the tourism industry triggered by the First World War also had a massive impact on the publication activities of the Bibliographical Institute. Only a few reprints appeared up to 1920, and even after that the focus was on the publication of German regional travel guides. It was not until 1930 that there were any noteworthy new publications, but mostly thin, sparingly furnished ribbons for individual areas. With the 4th edition of the Erzgebirge Guide in 1936, the publication of Meyer's travel books was stopped.


  • Werner Hauenstein: Guide through Meyer's travel books 1862–1936. Bibliography. Ursula Hinrichsen publishing house, Stadtoldendorf 1993