This map of pre-modern Istanbul is a collaborative project between Kayla Edwards and Molly Wack created in the spring of 2017 through the course Islamic City: Windows to Islamic Society, Institutions and Culture (Religion 278) at Davidson College. The project explores a pre-modern Islamic civilization through the study of a specific city–its spaces, culture, and people.

Our project highlights the religious communities within Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire, the spaces these religious communities maintained, and the ways in which these religious communities interacted with one another and their Ottoman rulers. Our project also explores the way digital media and maps can be used to learn about historical, pre-modern cities and societies. Through the project we provide information and historical context to explore the questions:

  • What is the visual relationship between religious quarters and corresponding sacred spaces?
  • Is an “Islamic City” ever completely Islamic? What is the meaning of “Islamic City”?
  • How do non-Muslims influence or support an “Islamic City”?

We invite viewers to use the information presented to draw conclusions and make claims regarding these questions.

View the full project: 

Project Materials & Documents:

Project Process

Islamic City Bibliography

SoundCloud: Text to Speech Playlist

Vimeo: SketchUp Video Playlist

Copyright © Kayla Edwards & Molly Wack 2017

Copying, duplication, and reproduction of the work and attached materials allowed with the permission of the authors. Please contact authors at and to obtain permission. Commercial copying is prohibited.

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