This was Jerusalem’s main street after the city’s destruction in 70AD. Hadrian originally paved the Cardo in the 2nd Century. This took place when his engineers tried to rebuild Jerusalem into a Roman styled city. The city’s name was even changed to Aelia Capitolina. Cardos were a central feature to Roman cities. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian further extended this avenue south to the area of today’s Jewish Quarter in the 6th century.
During its time, the Cardo was an exceptionally wide colonnaded street running through the heart of Jerusalem on a north-south axis. It connected many institutions and many shops. Parallel rows of columns supported a red ceramic tile roof and an arcade ran along, at least part of its eastern side.
Jerusalem’s Cardo is depicted on the Madaba Map, the mosaic pavement of a 6th century Byzantine Church found in the town of Madaba in Jordan. There is a replica of the Madaba Map on display in the Cardo.
Even today, the Cardo is lined with many shops and is a fun place to visit.