Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Gates of Jerusalem

Jaffa Gate

A small, walled area in the center of Jerusalem contains holy sites revered by followers of the three major monotheistic religions. The Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples once stood, is now home to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The retaining wall of the Temple Mount is known as the Western Wall (formerly the Wailing Wall) and it is the largest outdoor synagogue in the world. And Jesus walked along the Via Dolorosa carrying his cross to his crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is considered by many Christians to be where Jesus was buried and the purported site of his resurrection.

The Old City of Jerusalem is without a doubt the most colorful tourist destination in Israel. The narrow passageways of the Arab shuk. The modern housing and reconstructed synagogues of the Jewish Quarter. The wide Cardo street passing on the very stones put into place by the Roman conquerors of the city. The many restaurants, the yeshivot schools, the carcasses of animals hanging from their hooks in tourists' faces, the carpets and olive wood souvenirs in the Christian Quarter. No one can understand Jerusalem's uniqueness without a visit to the Old City.

While people have lived in this area of Jerusalem since early Biblical times, the current walls were constructed in 1538 by Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Legend says that Suleiman's architects mistakenly left Mt. Zion outside the city walls. Mt. Zion is revered as the traditional location of the Last Supper and the burial site of King David.

Join me on a colorful virtual tour of the gates of the Old City. And then visit Jerusalem to see them yourself!

The Old City of Jerusalem = the Citadel and the Tower of David

A great way to see the Old City is by taking a walk on the walls

The New Gate, added to make it easier for pilgrims to reach the Christian holy sites

Damascus Gate

Roman era gate, below the entrance of the Damascus Gate

Herod's Gate, also known as the Flower Gate, leading to the Muslim Quarter
Lion's Gate, also known as St. Stephen's Gate

The sealed Golden Gate that leads to the Temple Mount from the east

The Southern Wall, site of the sealed Huldah Gates / Triple Gates leading to the Temple Mount

Dung Gate

Western Wall Plaza, with the Dome of the Rock in the background

Zion Gate

Mt. Zion

Come visit Israel and see the amazing walls and gates of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Related articles:

Catholics in the Old City of Jerusalem 

Ethiopian Christians in the Old City of Jerusalem

Coptic Christians in the Old City of Jerusalem

A Visit to Mt. Zion


  1. Ellis, thanks for the beautiful reminders of the place where God has placed His heart forever.

  2. Ellis,
    Thank you very much for sharing it with me. The memories are coming back. Been in all that places. It was amazing, to be there and see it.
    Thank you

  3. Absolutely beautiful, Ellis! Thank you for the tour!

  4. Ellis...these are breathtaking! I have learned much that requires delving into. Thank you for bringing Jerusalem to Illinois, USA.

  5. Beautiful pictures, Ellis. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ellis, this is a lovely piece with fabulous images. Thank you.

  7. Gorgeous pictures of one of the greatest cities in the world! Thank you! I felt like I was there! MRS N

  8. Thank you for the beautiful photos! I've dreamed of visiting Jerusalem for a long time. It was almost like being there.

  9. Have never been to Israel - if I'm meant to go, G_d will get me there! Wonderful to see your pics - thanks so much.

  10. I would love to visit Jerusalem....though it's unlikely I'll ever get there.

    Your pics are fabulous, what a beautiful, historic place..Thanks so much for sharing!