17/11/2005

Cardo shopping area

 

Uncovered by Nahman Avigad's team in the 1970s, the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter was excavated for about 200 meters.  This portion dates to the time of Emperor Justinian in the first half of the 6th c. A.D.  An earlier portion of the Cardo was constructed in the Roman period beginning at the modern Damascus Gate in the north, but it didn't stretch this far south until centuries later. Later it  was a Byzantine road, roughly the equivalent of an eight-lane highway, that ran through the heart of the city. Today, a small area is preserved with some of the original Roman columns.  Just beyond the columns is an underground mall with a number of Jewish stores and art galleries. This is a good place to purchase Judaica, and it is possible to haggle with shopkeepers.

 

 

The columns supported a wooden (no longer preserved) roof that covered the shopping area and protected the patrons from the sun and rain.  Today the Byzantine street is about 6 meters below the present street level, indicating the level of accumulation in the last 1400 years.

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 A portion of the Cardo has been rebuilt as a modern shopping lane.  Jewish storekeepers sell fancy souvenirs and keepsakes to tourists "for a good price."  This street continues north to Damascus Gate; as it leaves the Jewish Quarter it becomes the division between the Christian and Muslim Quarters.  As in ancient times, this street is still the main one in the Old City, but today it is much narrower than it once was.

 

 
 

 

                               

 

 

11:41 Posted by Jean Jacques in 16 Israel - Jerusalem to-day | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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