Jerusalem, the holy city sacred for all 3 monotheistic religions, the Capital of Israel, has long been declared an amazing touristic attraction. Jerusalem used to be considered primarily an ideal spot for pilgrims and for spiritual visitors; yet, its many other facets are appealing to other people seeking different attractions, suitable for all age and culture groups.
The Old City of Jerusalem is surrounded by walls that were built by the Ottoman Sultan between 1536 and 1541 and stand till today. The gates of the Old City Wall act as the entry and exit points.
These are the gates that are very impressive to this day:
The Damascus Gate: This is the impressive of all the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem. The gate was put up in the year 1542 and it stands as a wonderful sample of Islamic architecture. It is located in the northern side of the walls, where careful viewer can detect the sheltered attacking spots the guards of the gate have used. The Damascus Gate is open towards the high-way coming from Damascus, where the merchants arrived in Jerusalem and is leading towards the Muslim Quarter that is the trading center of the old city to this day.
The Zion Gate is located on the southern part of the ramparts and serves as the entrance to the Jewish Quarter. It got its name from its close proximity to the Mount Zion. Bullet holes, shot in 1948, during the War of Independence of Israel, are found on the gate and can be seen today. This gave the gate its 2nd name: the Weeping Gate or the Wounded Gate.
The Jaffa Gate: The year 1538 was the year of construction of this entry point and as it is open to the high-way arriving from Hebron, it is also called in Arabic Bab-Al-Halil, which means Hebron Gate. The name Jaffa Gate remained because the main transportation came from Jaffa, along Jaffa street that runs through Jerusalem all the way from the Port of Jaffa. Two Turkish tomb stones can be seen near the entrance to the gate; they mark the graves of the two engineers, who were given the job of construction and were buried here.
The Golden Gate, also called the Gate of Mercy: This gate is sealed and therefore a lot of mystery and faith is associated with it. The gate is significant to the three major religions. Jews believe that the Messiah will enter the city through this gate while Christians believe that Jesus came into this city for the last time through this entry point. Also, Muslims consider this to be the place, where, on the Day of Judgment, justice will prevail.
Besides the above 4 gates, there is the Dung Gate, the Lion’s Gate, the New Gate and Herod’s Gate that is also called the Flowers Gate.