Golden Gate, Jerusalem

Golden Gate, Jerusalem (must see)

The Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount, commonly known as the Golden Gate, is unique in terms of being the only eastern gate and one of only two gates that used to provide access into Jerusalem from that side. Reputedly, this is the oldest gate of the Old City with the times of construction varying between 520 and somewhere around 640 A.D. The double entrance with two vaulted halls was ultimately sealed shut in 1541 by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, prior to which it was closed in 810 (also by the Muslims), then reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, and then walled up again by Saladin after defeating the Crusaders in 1187.

The gate holds historical and traditional significance for the Jews, primarily as an indicator of the Messiah meant to come, as it is prophesied that the Savior would enter Jerusalem through this gate. In Hebrew, it is called Sha’ar Harachamimi —“the Gate of Mercy” — for the direct access it provided to what used to be the Jewish Temple. For Christians this gate is important as the place where the parents of Mary met after the Annunciation thus symbolizing the virgin birth of Jesus, as well as for being the gate through which Jesus himself passed on Palm Sunday. The Muslims refer to it as Bab al-Dhahabi or Bab al-Zahabi (“Golden Gate” or “the Gate of Eternal Life”) believing this will be the site of Allah’s final judgment and future resurrection.

Because of all three religions placing such importance on the Golden Gate, it remains one of the most history-rich and controversial sites in Jerusalem. While the Jews insist that Suleiman sealed off the gate in a bid to prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering the city, the sultan may have taken this step purely for defensive reasons. Some even claim he did it to stop a false Messiah or "Antichrist" passing through, for which reason the Ottomans built a cemetery in front of it.

From the Golden Gate, you can traverse easily to the Temple Mount to get a magnificent view across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives. If you take a little hike into the lowlands, you will find the old trail to Bethany, or make way to the famous Garden of Gethsemane.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Jerusalem, Israel within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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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Golden Gate on Map

Sight Name: Golden Gate
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Considered for centuries to be the center of the universe, Jerusalem is where the most famous figure in the history of mankind, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilled his divine mission. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus, allowing you to see what many consider some of the holiest places on our planet.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Jerusalem Old City Walking Tour

Jerusalem Old City Walking Tour

The Old City of Jerusalem, the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, is a home to a number of sites of great religious importance, such as the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. Walking here is an experience not to be missed. Take this orientation walk to see the key sights of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

The largest, most populous and perhaps most chaotic of all Jerusalem's quarters, the Muslim Quarter is worth exploring for its unique atmosphere. Spending a day here may take you back to a simpler time, but be prepared for many sights and sounds as you pass many vendors, stores and restaurants on your way from site to site.

Some of Jerusalem's most interesting city gates (Damascus and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Christian Quarter Walking Tour

Christian Quarter Walking Tour

One of the epicenters of worldwide Christianity, the Christian Quarter is the second-largest of the four ancient quarters of Jerusalem's Old City. It covers the northwestern part of the Old City, just beyond Jaffa Gate – the traditional pilgrim's entrance to Jerusalem, and is a prime destination for most visitors to Jerusalem.

A tangle of broad streets and winding, narrow alleys,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

The Old City of Jerusalem is indeed very old; probably came into being more than 4,500 years ago. The defensive wall around the city, built by Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, features a number of gates, just as ancient, each of which is an attraction in its own right. Prophesies about some of these gates are written in the Bible and the Koran. This self-guided tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Smaller and quieter than the Old City's other three quarters, the Armenian quarter contains a series of winding cobblestoned streets and alleyways teeming with people, shops, coffee stands, ceramic workshops and hookah bars. A city in miniature with distinct language, alphabet and culture, it has been in place since the 4th century, when Armenia adopted Christianity as a national religion.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

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