Damascus (Shechem) Gate, Jerusalem

Damascus (Shechem) Gate, Jerusalem

Easily recognizable as one of the main entrances to the eastern part of Old Jerusalem, this gate stands out due to its monumental size and the constant activity surrounding it. As the most elaborate and fortified among the original seven gates, it features battlements, firing loopholes, and flanking turrets. Back in the day, the large opening above the entrance served to pour boiling oil or projectiles onto would-be invaders. Inside, the gate is designed with a double right-angle turn to further hinder hostile forces.

Named after the Syrian capital located 135 miles (or 220 kilometers) to the north, this structure has remained largely unchanged since its construction between 1537 and 1542 under the direct supervision of Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Known as Bab el-Amud, or "Gate of the Column", by Arabs, it possibly references a large column topped with a statue of Emperor Hadrian that once stood within.

Built over remnants of the original Roman gate and parts of the Roman city, this gate offers access to archaeological excavations. Outside, steps lead to the excavation site where remnants of a Crusader chapel, a medieval roadway, and signs of the Roman 10th Legion's presence can be found. Further inside, the surviving arch of the Roman gate provides entry to the intriguing Roman Square Excavations. The original Roman plaza, marked with a gaming board engraved in the paving stones, serves as the starting point of the Roman Cardo. One can also observe a hologram depicting Hadrian's column in the main plaza.

Tip:
Starting point for the Ramparts Walk around Jerusalem's, offering routes towards the Lions' Gate in the east or the Jaffa Gate in the west.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Damascus (Shechem) Gate on Map

Sight Name: Damascus (Shechem) Gate
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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