Recording a 19th-century relief map of Jerusalem

Tower of David Museum, 2019

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Pedro Miró using photogrammetry for the recording of the Illés relief © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

Otto Lowe using photogrammetry for the recording of the Illés relief © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

Recording of the Illés relief © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

In July 2019, a team from Factum Foundation used photogrammetry to record a 1:500 scale model of Jerusalem - the first topographic relief to aim for scientific accuracy. The hand-painted zinc model, which measures 4.5x5m, was made between 1864 and 1873 by a Hungarian Catholic bookbinder, Stephen Illés, and shows the city when it was still under Ottoman rule before the British Mandate divided it into four quarters.

A sensation at the 1873 World’s Fair in Vienna, the map was eventually purchased by public subscription in Geneva and displayed there for four decades. In 1984, it was sent on permanent loan from the Maison de la Réformation S.A. in Geneva to the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem, where it is currently on display. Factum Foundation has recorded the relief for ARCH (Alliance to Restore Cultural Heritage in Jerusalem).

Detail of the map of Jerusalem, during the recording of the Illés relief at the Tower of David Museum © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

Detail of the map of Jerusalem, during the recording of the Illés relief at the Tower of David Museum © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

Detail of the map of Jerusalem, during the recording of the Illés relief at the Tower of David Museum © Otto Lowe for Factum Foundation

 

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