About the Market in the Old City of JerusalemThis was once the largest market in Israel, and among the largest in the Middle East. Today, however, the Old City Market of Jerusalem is the most colorful, impressive and Eastern market in Israel.
The market is spread over many long alleyways, that cross the Old City and crisscross through the different Quarters of the Old City - The Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter.
The market has different areas, some are more tourist oriented, while others are more for the local residents. Each market sells the typical market products. There are souvenirs, Eastern products, and in the touristy sections, more fruits and vegetables, different food stalls, clothes, furniture, phones, and electronics.
The Market's HistoryIt may be hard to believe that today's market maintains the system of streets that used to be here during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The two market walkways are based on ancient streets from the past -the north-western half of the market is based on the Roman route, while the other half, the north-south axis, is based on the Cardo, the main street of Byzantine Jerusalem, which crossed the city from Damascus Gate to the Zion Gate.
The Queen of Jerusalem during the Crusader period, the Queen Melizende, made big changes in the market's structure, when she divided the Cardo into three thin and parallel markets. The Queen also added stylish roofing over the entire market.
Since Jerusalem has be reunited with the Old City in the Six Day War of 1967, the market was renovated and modernized a few times. It was tiled, painted, shop doors painted over in blues and greens, and the overhead arches were reinforced.
If in previous centuries pilgrims reported in their writings about very bad smells and harsh hygiene in the Jerusalem market, today's market is clean and almost completely odor free.