The Johannes Gigas Memorial


The memorial some 30 metres away towards Marktplatz was erected in memory of a famous son of the town of Lügde, Johannes Gigas.
In 1577, his father Jacob was the town's chaplain and schoolmaster. His son Johannes was born in 1582 in Lügde, he went to university in Helmstedt und Wittenberg where he studied medicine and mathematics before leaving for Basel university in 1601. There he gained his doctorate in medicine on 29 November 1603.
In the following 12 years, Johannes Gigas lived in Burgsteinfurt, where he initially worked as the personal doctor and educator of the prince. Soon the doctor was appointed professor of mathematics and physics at Hohe Schule in Burgsteinfurt.
At the end of February 1616, Gigas, his wife and their eight children left Burgsteinfurt and moved to Münster. There he entered the service of Ferdinand of Bavaria, who was a proponent of the Counter-Reformation. As his personal doctor, Gigas also converted to Catholicism.
Gigas began to take an interest in cartography as a student in Helmstedt. As early as 1616 his decorative map of the Münster diocese was published. In 1617 he produced a pen and ink drawing of the county of Pyrmont
with the Lügde office. The map shows the divided county and its borders, which were drawn in 1668. In 1620 he published the Prodomus geographicus, the atlas of Cologne. The atlas included the regional maps created by Gigas.
Johannes Gigas died in 1637 in Münster. The local history museum in Lügde hosts a permanent exhibition of Johannes Gigas.