10 Gates of Jerusalem
Information and Travel Advice
The 10 Gates of Jerusalem
The 10 gates of Jerusalem are all magnificent gates in the old Jerusalem wall.
It is truly inspiring to visit the gates of Jerusalem, especially the Jerusalem gate of Jaffa where much history happened. It is such a nice part of an Israel travel plan!
The old city of Jerusalem is surrounded by an ancient wall, and in this wall are 10 gates from which you can enter the old city. In fact, only 7 of the 10 gates around Jerusalem are open, while the other 3 are blocked.
Most of the gates were built by Suleiman the Magnificent.
The gates today are open 24/7 but until the beginning of the 20th century the gates were locked every night at sunset and opened again at sunrise.
Map of Gates of Jerusalem:
How Should You Tour the Gates?
This is easy: take you map and walk around the walls (take into account it can be a long walk since the wall surrounding the old city is 4 kilometers long). In any event, you most likely will come across at least a few of the gates when you tour Jerusalem - such as the Jaffa gate that serves as a main entrance to the old city, and is close to Mamilla, and the Chulda gates which are located near the Western Wall, and more...
Jerusalem Old City Gates:
1. Lions Gate (Sha'ar Ha'arayot): Also known as St. Stephen's Gate, as some believe that St. Stephen was stoned outside this gate. The gate was also named Lions' Gate because there are 4 animals that decorate the gate.
2. Damascus Gate (Sha'ar Shkhem): This gate is named after the city from which some of the rulers of Jerusalem came. It is one of the busiest of Jerusalem gates.
3. Herod's Gate (Sha'ar Ha'prachim): Although it's named Herod, this Jerusalem eastern gate has nothing to do with Herod. In Hebrew it is called "the Flowers Gate" due to the rosette carved on it.
4. The New Gate (Sha'ar Ha'Chadash): This is the newest gate, and unlike the others that were built in the 16th century, this is thought to have been built during the Ottoman period (late 19th century).
5. Golden Gate Jerusalem (Sha'ar Ha'rachamim): The Jerusalem Golden Gate is a sealed gate which is thought to be built by the Byzantines or by the first Arab conquerors of Jerusalem.
6. Dung Gate (Sha'ar Ha'ashpot): No one really knows why this gate was named the Jerusalem Dung Gate. Some believe that the whole old city's trash was cleared out of this gate.
7. Zion Gate (Sha'ar Zion): This gate is where you access Mt. Zion. It is known also by the name of the gate of the prophet David, since David's tomb is thought to be located on mount Zion. The gate has some battle marks left from the war of independence in 1948.
8. Jaffa Gate Jerusalem (Sha'ar Yaffo): the most famous Jerusalem gate, where many people enter the old city's quarters and the Tower of David. This gate was named Jaffa because the road leading from it goes to the port of Jaffa.
9. Hulda Gates (Sha'arei Chulda): These gates, which are sealed, were discovered during excavations that revealed structures from the time of the second temple of Jerusalem. They are located in the south-east side of the Temple Mount, and include ancient stairs leading to the temple.
10. Single Gate (Sha'ar Shkhem) This is a sealed gate.
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