The eastern section of the Suq is known as Suq al-Khawajat, referring to traders of cloth and textiles. At present, only the southern part of the Suq is open, as the northern part requires renovation after large parts of it caved in following the 1927 earthquake. The result of this is referred to as al-Sabra (Cactus), which is an Islamic Waqf for the Nusayba family, and is targeted by Zionist and other settlement organizations that want to make this land an extension of the Jewish Quarter south of it.
Architectural Fabric and Origin of the Suqs
The architectural history of these three Suqs dates back to the Ayyubid era. Some of the Suqs’ foundations may go farther back to Roman times, with some renovations in the Crusader era, done, as seen by archaeological excavations, on the lines and foundations of the Roman and Byzantine Suqs. The three Suqs are covered with cross-vaults, with openings for light and ventilation. Their floors are paved with the famous Jerusalemite stone tiles mentioned by Nasir Khusrau, who visited the city during the Fatimid era in the 5th century AH. Mujir al-Din also mentioned the three Suqs, saying: ‘The three Suqs were built by the Romans, extending from south to north, and have exits towards each other. The first is Suq al-Attarin, endowed to Waqf by Salah al-Din… ,to serve as his Salahiyya school, the second Suq is for selling vegetables, and the third to the east is for cloth and textiles, with the last two Suqs endowed to the Waqf of the Noble al-Aqsa Mosque.’