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German History in Documents and Images
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The Imperial Eagle and the Imperial Estates (1510)
In this woodcut, the oldest and most popular representation of the Holy Roman Empire, the coats-of-arms of the Imperial estates (both spiritual and temporal) are arranged in the form of the Imperial eagle. The coats-of-arms of the three spiritual electors (Mainz, Cologne, and Trier) and the papal coat-of-arms appear in the top row (to the left of the crucifix), completing this picture of the Holy Roman Empire as a fusion of the spiritual and the temporal. This woodcut was reproduced on everything from town hall murals to drinking vessels. Colored woodcut by David de Negker, 1510.