For centuries, a huge, 150,000 square feet building in the heart of Jerusalen was used as a fruit and vegetable market. Now the deserted site has been identified as the largest hospital in the Middle East during the Crusader period.
The structure, which features "massive pillars, ribbed vaults, rooms, smaller halls and ceilings as high as 20 feet," was probably established between the 12th and 13th centuries by a Christian military order called the Kinghts Hospitaller. “The Muslim Arab population was instrumental in assisting the Crusaders in establishing the hospital and teaching them medicine. Arab culture has always held the medical profession in high regard and Arab physicians were famous far and wide,” said archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority.