National Geographic recently published a series of 15th-century maps that depict and describe how the apocalypse will unfold. The first known example of thematic maps, this apocalypse manuscript was made in Lübeck, Germany, by an unknown author between 1486 and 1488 and now resides in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

The cartographic account of the Apocalypse begins with a map that shows the condition of the world between 639 and 1514. The earth is a circle, and Asia, Africa, and Europe are depicted as pie wedges surrounded by water. The text describes the rise of Islam, which the author sees as a growing threat to the Christian world. “There’s no way to escape it, this work is very anti-Islamic,” Van Duzer says. “It’s unfortunate,” he adds, but it was a widespread bias in that place and time.

The text is filled with idiosyncratic details. The author calculated the distance to Paradise: 777 German miles from Lübeck to Jerusalem, and thence another 1000 miles to the eastern end of the Earth (a German mile is an obsolete measurement with many variations, making it difficult to pin down the modern equivalent). He also calculated the circumferences of Earth and Hell (8,000 and 6,100 German miles, respectively, though his use of different numbers for pi suggests a shaky grasp of geometry).

Check out a few of the maps below and then head over to National Geographic to view the rest.

The Huntington Library

The triangles in this map from a 15th-century German apocalyptic manuscript predict the rise of the Antichrist between 1570 and 1600.

The Huntington Library

This map shows the world before the Apocalypse, with Asia at top, Europe at bottom left, and Africa at bottom right. The text explains that Islam is on the rise from 639 to 1514.

The Huntington Library

On Judgment Day, the gates of Paradise are at the top. Below them are the Mount of Olives and a curved band where the damned stand above a black abyss that leads to Hell.