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 Holiday Central > Yom Yerushalayim > Jerusalem Gates >
The Gates of Old Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem (Hebrew: העיר העתיקה‎, HaEer HaAtika) is a walled area within modern Jerusalem and is just a 0.9 square kilometer (0.35 square mile) in area. The small area within the walls constituted the entire city until the mid 1860s. The Old City was divided then into four quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. However, following the Israel's war of Independence, the Jordanians took control of East Jerusalem, and until the liberation of the city in 1967 Six Day War, when once again the Old City was in Jewish control, Jews were denied access not only to their homes but also the most sacred site in Judaism, the Kotel (Western Wall).  The Kotel is in the Jewish Quarter which you enter through the Zion Gate.

When the  Crusades’ Kingdom reigned over Jerusalem the walls surrounding the city had only four gates, one on each side.  However Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1580) of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, had the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt and added impressive added.  Today there are eight gates to the Old City, of which only seven are open.

 The Eight Gates of The Old Jerusalem

Hebrew עברית English Arabic Other Names/Remarks Year Location
HaSha'ar HeHadash השער החדש New Gate Al-Bab al-Jedid Gate of Hammid 1887 West of northern side
Sha'ar Shchem שער שכם Damascus Gate Bab al-Amoud Sha'ar Damesek, Nablus Gate, Gate of the Pillar 1537 Middle of northern side
Sha'ar HaPerachim שער הפרחים Herod's Gate Bab al-Sahira Sha'ar Hordos, Flower Gate, Sheep Gate unknown East of northern side
Sha'ar HaArayot שער האריות Lions' Gate Bab Sittna Maryam Gate of Yehoshafat, St. Stephen's Gate, Gate of the Tribes 1538-39 North of eastern side
Sha'ar HaAshpot שער האשפות Dung Gate Bab al-Maghariba Gate of Silwan, Sha'ar HaMugrabim 1538-40 East of southern side
Sha'ar Tzion שער ציון Zion Gate Bab El-Nabi Da'oud Gate to the Jewish Quarter 1540 Middle of southern side
Sha'ar Yaffo שער יפו Jaffa Gate Bab al-Khalil The Gate of David's Prayer Shrine, Porta Davidi 1530-40 Middle of western side
Sha'ar Harachamim שער הרחמים Golden Gate   Gate of Mercy, the Gate of Eternal Life. Sealed in 1541. 16th Century Middle of eastern side


Mazor Guide to Yom Yerushalayim brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

MazorGuide Recommended Reading

  - A House of Prayer for All Nations: The Holy Temple of Jerusalem ~ by Chaim Richman
  - Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948 (Paperback)  ~ by Zipporah Porath
  - The Story of Israel - Special Edition: From Theodor Herzl to the Roadmap for Peace ~ by Martin Gilbert
  - Tales Out of Jerusalem: Seven Gates to the City  ~ by Rabbi Emanuel Feldman


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