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This incredible 13 x 17 foot zinc model of 19th century Jerusalem created was created by Hungarian Catholic Stephan Illes in the 1870s. It was first exhibited in 1873 at the Vienna International Exhibit, then lost and forgotten until the 1980s until tracked down by an enterprising Hebrew University instructor Rehav Rubin:
Rehav Rubin, an instructor of historical geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was researching ancient maps at the National Library in Jerusalem. Among the 300 maps of Jerusalem donated to the library by collector Eran Laor—rated by experts at the British Museum as one of the world’s most complete private collections of Levant and Holy Land maps—Rehav Rubin was struck by a fine black-and white illustration of the city, made around 1872 and identified only as “A Bird’s Eye View of Jerusalem by Stephan Illes.” Delving further into the archive, Rubin discovered that Illes had made a “relief plan,” or model, of the city for the Ottoman Pavilion at the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873. But of the model itself, there was no trace.
Story - Rediscovery - Story - Display - Level
You can read the full story of its remarkable rediscovery story here. It is now on display in the lower level of the Jerusalem...
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