A very ancient map of Jerusalem

What a history Jerusalem has experienced.  At the time of Christ, it was ruled by the Roman Empire and continued to be governed from Rome and then Constantinople until the year 637CE when Jerusalem surrendered to Arab, Muslim armies.

At the time the Muslim caliphate took the city, its defeated Roman rulers had long converted to Christianity and Jerusalem was one of the five patriarchates that dominated the religion: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem.

In the town of Madaba – now located in Jordan – a Christian church constructed a map of the world, as it was known in the sixth century CE, using two million mosaic tiles – and of course it placed Jerusalem at the centre.

The depiction of Jerusalem is very clear and you can make out the church of the Holy Sepulchre (sacred to the Templars) and the central colonnaded Roman street or “cardo”.  I was in Madaba a month ago and took these photos of the map, which is on the floor of the church and has been partially destroyed over time.


7 Comments on “A very ancient map of Jerusalem

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