Nicolas de Nicolay


Born at la Grave
La Grave
La Grave is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.It is a small ski resort in the French Alps, dominated by La Meije . It was the birthplace of Nicolas de Nicolay; adventurer and Geographer Ordinary to Henry II of France....

 in Oisans, in the Dauphiné
The Dauphiné or Dauphiné Viennois is a former province in southeastern France, whose area roughly corresponded to that of the present departments of :Isère, :Drôme, and :Hautes-Alpes....

, he left France in 1542 to participate in the siege of Perpignan
-Sport:Perpignan is a rugby stronghold: their rugby union side, USA Perpignan, is a regular competitor in the Heineken Cup and seven times champion of the Top 14 , while their rugby league side plays in the engage Super League under the name Catalans Dragons.-Culture:Since 2004, every year in the...

 which was then held by Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 of Austria.

He travelled around much of Europe: (Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

) and served in the armies of most of these countries.

On his return to France, Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, made him Geographer Ordinary, and Valet to the Chamber.

In 1551, Henry II ordered him to follow Gabriel d'Aramon, envoy and ambassador to the Grand Turk Suleiman the Magnificent. In the course of the voyage, his unofficial mission was to survey the places visited - including Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...


In 1583, he died in Soissons
Soissons is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France, located on the Aisne River, about northeast of Paris. It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is probably the ancient capital of the Suessiones...

, where he was Commissioner of artillery, after a stay at the royal castle of Moulins
Moulins, Allier
Moulins is a commune in central France, capital of the Allier department.Among its many tourist attractions are the Maison Mantin the Anne de Beaujeu Museum.-History:...



He wrote several books:
  • Description générale des Pays et Duché de Berry (1567).
  • Quatre premiers livres des navigations (1568)
  • Description générale du Bourbonnais en 1569, ou Histoire de cette province (villes, bourgs, châteaux, fiefs, monastères, familles anciennes (published in 1875).
  • Description générale de la ville de Lyon et des anciennes provinces du Lyonnais et du Beaujolais (published in 1881).


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