Visit the Spectacular Main Street in the Old City
The cities of the Ancient Roman Empire had a special tradition of decorating main roads with spectacular stone columns. These streets were called "Cardo" and Jerusalem, just like any other Roman city, had a Cardo of its own. This ancient street originates at Damascus Gate in the north, running southwards through the Old City, terminating at Zion Gate.
Evidence for the existence of this ancient Cardo were first found on a mosaic map of Jerusalem. The map was discovered on the floor of a Byzantine church located in Midba town in Moav Mountains. This Midba map served as an ancient graphic source to teach the locals about Jerusalem.
The north side of the Cardo, from Damascus Gate to David Street, was built during the Roman period in Jerusalem. The south side, however, was built in the 6th century, during the times of the Byzantine Empire in Jerusalem, and it extends along the western side of the Jewish Quarter.
Now you too can walk along an ancient street filled with history!
The Rich History of the Cardo
Parts of the Cardo were exposed during excavation work between Habbad Street and Hayehudim Street inside the Jewish Quarter. The Cardo consisted of a central open-air passage for animals and carriages, as well as sidewalks for pedestrian use from both sides of the street. A few original stores located on the sidewalks were also found at several sections of the street.
A Byzantine level was discovered by archeologists in the southern side of the Cardo. This level contained beautiful columns which were later restored. Today it is possible to walk along the Cardo just like the ancient Jerusalemites did back in the 6th century. The Crusader's Bazzar, which was built in the 12th century, is now renovated with modern stores selling ancient history.