The Western Cardo

The Western Cardo

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The Western Cardo is the remnants of the main street which crossed Jerusalem during the Roman- Byzantine era. Jerusalem was, during the Roman period, built in the template common to Roman cities: a network of horizontal and vertical streets that intersected with each other like a fisher man’s net. In Jerusalem, the construction was adjusted to the mountainous topography of the city. This section of the street was built later during the Byzantine times, during the 6th century. It was an impressive avenue, 22 meters wide, like a modern 4- lane road, almost double the size of the section exposed today. On the sides of the street stood two parallel rows of pillars, only one of them remains to this day. These pillars bore wooden beams, on which roofing tiles were stacked, in order to shield the pedestrians from rain and sun. At the center of the bustling street passed pedestrians, horses, carriages and processions, and in the areas behind the pillars there were shops and stands. The stone arches that can be seen there today are remnants of the shops that stood under the pillars. The beautiful pillars demonstrate the centrality of the street, which used to be the beating pulse of the city. This is the reason for its name, “Cardo”- which derives from the term “central axis” in Latin. The cardo crossed the city from north to south. The street begins from a stone-paved courtyard with a stone pillar, next to the Damascus Gate. In the northern part of the cardo there are pointed arches and adjacent domes which indicate that this section was built in the crusaders era, on the route of the Roman Byzantine cardo. The cardo was buried for hundreds of years under the houses of the old city, and was exposed during the renovation works in this quarter after 1967. The ancient crusaders’ shops were cleaned from the sewage and have returned to serve as galleries and shops for souvenirs and Judaica objects. Between the shops we can identify remnants of different eras, which were exposed during the excavations that took place after 1967. Among the discoveries are sections of the “Broad Walls” from the end of the First Temple era, which was discovered in the Jewish Quarter, and also fortresses from the times of the Second Temple.
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based on 1609 traveler reviews
  • Nahshon
    July 25, 2023

    Around here are pillars which represent the old marketplace of Jerusalem (according to archeological sites). Surrounding this place are very quaint shops which sell nice paintings and souvenirs Nice place to walk throug...

  • Tzvi H. Kushner
    Tzvi H. Kushner
    July 28, 2023

    Not too interesting but if you're walking through the Jewish Quarter towards the kosel your bound to pass it, so you can take a look if you'd like. I think they say it's from the Romans but then again is it factual? I def...

  • Khanh Tran
    Khanh Tran
    May 28, 2023

    1500 years trading, there is drawing shop inside and historical place also

  • Yele
    July 7, 2023

    ʟᴏᴠᴇʟʏ ᴀʀᴇᴀ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴇsᴛᴇʀɴ ᴄᴀʀᴅᴏ ɪs ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴍɴᴀɴᴛs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀɪɴ sᴛʀᴇᴇᴛ ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴄʀᴏssᴇᴅ ᴊᴇʀᴜsᴀʟᴇᴍ ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴏᴍᴀɴ- ʙʏᴢᴀɴᴛɪɴᴇ ᴇʀᴀ .

  • Alex Drukpa.
    Alex Drukpa.
    April 12, 2023

    The Cardo was the heart of the Roman city, the street that bisected the city, the street on which all the municipal commerce took place.

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