Narratives on the birth of the Ottoman city of Bursa, the first capital of the Ottomans, known to the Byzantines as Prousa, highlight its early Ottoman identity. Although Bursa represents one of the richest legacies of early Ottoman architecture, the city’s urban fabric has suffered from several fires and earthquakes that resulted in heavy restorations and remodellings. The first aim of this paper is to discuss the textual and visual evidence for the built environment in the early fourteenth century and, second, to offer commentary on the Ottoman attitude toward Byzantine architecture in an effort to unearth the Byzantine substrata of Ottoman Bursa. In the service of the latter goal, this article debunks the Ottoman-centric views. With the aid of drawings of Bursa’s upper city that predate the 1855 earthquake we may begin to visualize a city far less uniform in character, in which the Byzantine legacy both endured and informed the construction and urban design practices of the ascendant Ottomans.