The 10 gates of Jerusalem are all magnificent gates in the old Jerusalem wall.
There's nothing more inspiring than visiting the gates of Jerusalem, where so much history happened and I will help you make the most of your visit! You really should list the 10 gates of Jerusalem as a "must see" in your 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.
Those gates which aren't blocked 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.
This is easy: take your 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). 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 (a beautiful outdoor mall), the Chulda gates which are located near the Western Wall, and more...
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 Jerusalem (Sha'ar Ha'prachim): This Jerusalem eastern gate has actually 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 in Jerusalem wall, 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. It is not as famous as some of the other 10 gates 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 this gate was selected to have the whole old city's trash cleared out of it.
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.
8. Jaffa Gate Jerusalem (Sha'ar Yaffo): the most famous gate is the Jerusalem Jaffa 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. One of the most famous and impressive of all 10 gates of Jerusalem.
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.
10. Single Gate (Sha'ar Shkhem): This is a sealed gate.
To sum things up, you most likely will naturally "bump into" one or two gates, but it is worth the time to visit most, if not all of the 10 gates of Jerusalem. If you're already here, why miss such an impressive part of the old city?