Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem

Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem

The busiest among the seven gates of the Old City, this serves as the primary entrance for both traffic and pedestrians arriving from modern West Jerusalem via Mamilla. Despite its substantial size, the entrance tunnel is narrow and L-shaped, intentionally designed to impede the progress of attackers. Constructed during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, a dedication within the arch on the outside of the gate indicates the exact date of 1538.

Cars can access the Old City through this gate, a privilege attributed to Kaiser Wilhelm II's visit in 1898. Legend has it that the Ottoman authorities, mindful of the belief that every conqueror of the city must enter through here, created a breach in the wall between the gate and the Citadel. This allowed the Kaiser and his entourage to enter through the breach instead of the gate itself, which is on the north side of the breach. However, when General Edmund Allenby captured Jerusalem for the British in 1917, he famously declined to use the Kaiser's breach, opting instead to dismount along with his retinue and enter on foot through the gate, as a sign of respect to the city.

Known as Sha'ar Yafo in Hebrew and Bab al-Khalil in Arabic, the gate offers access to the ramparts, allowing visitors to walk along the city walls. Its various names reflect the diverse perspectives of Jerusalem's inhabitants: the English and Hebrew names allude to the ancient port city of Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast, known as an embarkation point for immigrants, pilgrims, and early tourists, while the Arabic name originates from the holy town of Hebron ("Al-Khalil"), signifying the old road leading to Hebron that commenced at this spot.

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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Jaffa Gate on Map

Sight Name: Jaffa Gate
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
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.
Jerusalem Old City Walking Tour

Jerusalem Old City Walking Tour

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, the Old City of Jerusalem is best explored on foot, since its narrow streets and alleys make it almost an entirely vehicle-free zone. In addition to hosting four ethnic quarters, – Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian – it is packed with major historical and religious sites, which all make a trip here unique, unforgettable and not to be missed.

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Dotted with many sightseeing places, Mount Scopus – translating as the “Observation Mount” from Greek – is a great place to get views over the whole Old City of Jerusalem on a nice day. The mount has been of major strategic importance since Roman times, with forces setting up camp here prior to laying the siege that culminated in the final Roman victory over Jerusalem around 70 AD....  view more

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

Christian Quarter Walking Tour

One of the epicenters of worldwide Christianity, the Christian Quarter is the 2nd-largest of Jerusalem’s four ancient quarters. A fascinating place to stroll through, it covers the Old City’s northwestern part, just beyond Jaffa Gate – the traditional pilgrim’s entrance to Jerusalem and a prime destination for most visitors.

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

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 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 a compound built by the Crusaders that marks the spot of both King David’s tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. How...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 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 the city’s most interesting city gates (Damascus and...  view more

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

Bethlehem Walking Tour

Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem has been known to the world, for more than two millennia, 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 thus, for some visitors, the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise.

Undoubtedly, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles

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