In Byzantine cities the Cardo was the main north south artery. So too in Jerusalem. The southern part of the excavated Cardo is uncovered, as it would have been one thousand five hundred years ago, columns and open market stalls on either side and paved with the large flag stones. The western row of columns would have been under the palm trees. The next part of the Cardo has been partially built over but the wide street is clearly discernable.
As one continues northwards the Cardo is no longer visible for, five hundred years later, Crusader shops were built into it. The Crusader shops have been restored and are filled with religious artifacts, jewelry, art work and all sorts of modern merchandise. But in two pits which reach bed rock are parts of two walls. One, the older, joins up with Hezekiah’s Broad Wall. The other is Hasmonean, a mere two thousand two hundred years old.
Clearly portrayed in the Medba pilgrims map of the 5th century, the Cardo may have served as the processional road connecting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Nea Church, of which nothing but its foundations remain.
Text content copyrights: Bein Harim Ltd., Beryl Ratzer (www.ratzer.com)