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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.
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.
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus translates as the "Observation Mount" from Greek. It is a great place to see the whole Old City of Jerusalem with many of its sightseeing places. Its most visited landmarks are the Hebrew University campus with its botanical garden and amphitheater, the War Cemetery and a few places of worship. Follow this self-guided walk to have a great time in this magical place!

Tip:
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Bethlehem Walking Tour

Bethlehem Walking Tour

For more than two millennia Bethlehem has been known to the world as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The “star of Bethlehem” as well as Christmas carols and hymns are firmly associated with this ancient city in the West Bank, Palestine, and for some visitors the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise. Undoubtedly, the main tourist attraction of Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Mount Zion Walking Tour

Mount Zion Walking Tour

For those interested in religion and history, Mount Zion offers several unique sights that are situated in close proximity to each other. An important place for Christians, Jews as well as Muslims, it holds important constructions dating from the 20th century as well as the compound built by the Crusaders, marking the spot of King David's tomb as well as of the Room of the Last Supper.

In...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Aside from affording great views over the Old City, the Mount of Olives is home to half a dozen major sites of the Christian faith along with the oldest Jewish burial ground in the world. Considered a holy spot by many, it is associated with numerous events in Jesus' life including ascending to Heaven and teaching his disciples the Lord's prayer. The following self-guided tour will lead...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Entirely rebuilt in the 1980s after having been largely destroyed during the 1948 War, the Jewish Quarter is quite distinct from the rest of the Old City. Good signposting, spacious passageways, art galleries and a somewhat less buzzing atmosphere make the area a relaxing place to spend some time.

With its rebuilt residential buildings, some almost consider this area the "New...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...