Cardo

Cardo

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The cardo was a north-south oriented street in Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 cities, military camps, and colonia
Colonia (Roman)
A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.-History:...

e. The cardo, an integral component of city planning, was lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. The main cardo was called cardo maximus.

Most Roman cities also had a Decumanus Maximus
Decumanus Maximus
In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castra , or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria to the Porta Decumana .This name comes from the fact that the via decumana or decimana In Roman city...

, an east-west street that served as a secondary main street. Due to varying geography, in some cities the decumanus is the main street and the cardo is secondary, but in general the cardo maximus served as the primary road. The Forum
Forum (Roman)
A forum was a public square in a Roman municipium, or any civitas, reserved primarily for the vending of goods; i.e., a marketplace, along with the buildings used for shops and the stoas used for open stalls...

 was normally located at the intersection of the Decumanus and the Cardo.

The cardo was the "hinge" or axis of the city, derived from the same root as cardinal
Cardinal direction
The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are the directions of north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials: N, E, S, W. East and west are at right angles to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation and west being directly opposite. Intermediate...

.

Apamea, Syria



The Cardo Maximus of Apamea
Apamea (Syria)
Apamea was a treasure city and stud-depot of the Seleucid kings, was capital of Apamene, on the right bank of the Orontes River. . Its site is found about to the northwest of Hama, Syria, overlooking the Ghab valley...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 ran through the centre of the city directly from North to South, linked the principal gates of the city, and was originally surrounded by 1200 columns with unique spiral fluting, each subsequent column spiraling in the opposite direction. The thoroughfare was about 1.85 kilometres long and 37 metres wide, as it was used for wheeled transport. The great colonnade was erected in the 2nd century and it was still standing until the 12th. The earthquakes of 1157 and 1170 demolished the colonnade. The cardo was lined on both sides with civic and religious buildings.

Cologne, Germany


Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse
Schildergasse
The Schildergasse is a shopping street in central Cologne, Germany, and with 13,000 people passing through every hour, it is the busiest shopping street in Europe...

 in Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany may be taken as examples of streets, that have kept their course and function of Cardo and Decumanus Maximus until this day.

Jerusalem, Israel



After the Jewish rebellion led by Simon Bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state of Israel which he ruled for three years as Nasi...

 was crushed by Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 130s CE, Jerusalem was destroyed. Hadrian built a Roman colony in its place, naming it Colonia Aelia Capitolina, after himself. Like many Roman colonies, Aelia Capitolina was laid out with a Hippodamian grid plan of narrower streets and wider avenues. The main north-south thoroughfare, the Cardo Maximus, was originally a paved avenue approximately 22.5 meters wide (roughly the width of a six lane highway) which ran southward from the site of the Damascus gate, terminating at an unknown point. The southern addition to the Cardo, constructed under Justinian in the 6th century CE, extended the road further south to connect the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 with the newly-built Zion Gate. Along its length, the roadway was divided into three parts: two colonnaded covered walks flanking a 12 meter wide road. The shaded porticoes provided separation of pedestrian traffic from wheeled carts, shelter from the elements, space for small-scale commerce, as well as opportunities for residents and visitors to gather and interact. The central open pavement provided commercial access as well as ritual space. The Cardo’s most striking visual feature was its colonnade, clearly depicted on the Madaba Map.

Simple bases supported monolithic shafts, spaced 5.77 meters apart. The shafts supported Byzantine-style Corinthian capitals – intricately carved, but more stylized versions of their Classical counterparts. Although this combination of elements was uniform the preserved examples display some variation in the profile and size of the bases, and in the pattern of the capitals. Despite aesthetic differences, the approximate height of the base, column, and capital units of the colonnade was five meters, a height which contributed to the spaciousness of the porticoes. The wall of the Cardo’s eastern portico featured an arcade that housed various stalls and workshops leased by craftsmen and merchants.

The line of the Cardo Maximus is still visible on Jewish Quarter Street, though the original pavement lies several meters below the modern street level. In the 7th century, when Jerusalem fell under Muslim rule, the Cardo became an Arab-style marketplace. Remains of the Byzantine Cardo were found in the Jewish Quarter excavations beginning in 1969.

In 1971, a plan for preserving the ancient street was submitted by architects Peter Bogod, Esther Krendel and Shlomo Aronson
Shlomo Aronson
Shlomo Aronson is an Israeli landscape architect. His works range from master plans for reforestation, archaeological parks and freeway planting schemes to urban plazas.-Biography:...

. Their proposal relied heavily on the sixth century Madaba map
Madaba Map
The Madaba Map is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East. Part of it contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem...

, a mosaic map of Jerusalem found in 1897 in Madaba, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. The map clearly showed the Roman Cardo as the main artery through the Old City. The architects proposed a covered shopping arcade that would preserve the style of an ancient Roman street using contemporary materials. Their plan was based on the hope that archeologists would find remains of the southern end of the Cardo, an extension of the
north-south Roman thoroughfare built during the Byzantine era (324 – 638).

Time was of the essence and mounting pressure to repopulate the Jewish Quarter led to the construction of a superstructure which allowed the residential buildings to be built while the archaeologists continued to work below. The project was 180 meters in total and was divided into eight sections to allow for construction teams to move quickly from one section to another. By 1980, 37 housing units and 35 shops were built, incorporating archaeological finds such as a Hasmonean
Hasmonean
The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

 wall from the second century BCE and rows of Byzantine columns. The combination of old and new is also visible on the Street of the Jews, where the shops have been set into old vaults and the gallery is covered by an arched roof containing small apertures to allow for natural lighting.

Jerash, Jordan


The excavations at Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

 in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

have unearthed the remains of an ancient Roman city on the site, with the main feature of the city being a colonnaded cardo. The original road surface survived.

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