POINTS OF INTEREST
Today it's known for shopping, but the Cardo has a long history. In AD 135, the Roman emperor Hadrian built his town of Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem, an urban plan essentially preserved in the Old City of today. The cardo maximus, the generic name for the city's main north–south street, began at the present-day Damascus Gate, where sections of the Roman pavement have been unearthed. With the Christianization of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, access to Mount Zion and its important Christian sites became a priority, and the main street was eventually extended south into today's Jewish Quarter. The original width—today you see only half—was 73 feet, about the width of a six-lane highway. A strip of good stores (jewelry, art, and Judaica) occupies the Cardo's medieval reincarnation.