The Damascus Gate is one of the eight gates that give access to the Old City of Jerusalem. One of the cities in the world with the greatest symbolic and religious load. And we have said that there are eight doors, although only seven can be crossed, since the one known as the Golden Door will remain closed until the Messiah arrives.
Damascus Gate and the rest of the gates
In addition to the Damascus Gate, we have already named another of the historic entrances to the old core of Jerusalem. And although we are not going to talk much about them, at least we are going to name those doors. They are Jaffa, Lions, Zion, Herod, Dung and New.
Entry to the Arab market
The last one we mentioned the New Gate, it really is not so much, since it was opened in the 19th century. But it is logical to call it that if we compare it with the rest. For example, with our protagonist, the Damascus Gate, which was opened in the 16th century in the city walls.
Specific, the Damascus Gate is a Muslim work from 1542, since it was created in the time of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent, when he ruled the holy city. With it, an access to the Arab market was opened.
Today, the monumental Damascus Gate is a gateway to the Christian and Muslim quarters of the historic heart of Jerusalem.
Two gates north of Jerusalem
If you locate yourself on a map of the Middle East, you will discover that Syria and its capital are north of Israel. With that information you can already have an idea that the Damascus Gate is on the northern section of the Jerusalem wall.
As well, in this same orientation we will find the Herod Gate relatively close. This, in Hebrew and also in Arabic, is better known as Puerta de las Flores, due to the rosettes that adorn it.
The Damascus Gate, the most monumental
Each of the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem has its charm. But anyone who visits the city comes to the conclusion that Damascus Gate is the most monumental of all. It is a large gate protected by two towers in which, as a defensive element, the machicolations are still preserved.
Y the door is at a lower level than the environment, so you have to go down a ladder to get through it. That’s just an attractive move these days, but back then it was a big advantage for city defenders and a weakness for attackers.
One of the first city gates
That resounding aspect of the current Damascus Gate is what the Ottoman Empire gave it. But before there was already a door here to cross the walls of the city. Excavations have found Roman remains dating back to the times of Emperor Hadrian, who also had an entrance opened here in the 2nd century.
But not only that, it is known that before, in the time of the famous King Herod, at the beginning of our Era a gate had already been built in this place.
The passage to the two great historic streets
Entering through the Damascus Gate is a must do for any visitor to Jerusalem. To begin with, for its beauty and grandeur. Something that is even more endorsed by the hustle and bustle that is never lacking in the area. Partly by the tourists themselves and partly by the vicinity of the Muslim souk.
And also, when passing through the Damascus Gate you reach the point where two of the most important arteries of the city converge. These are Tariq el-Wad and Suq Khan ez-Zeit streets. By the way, both coincide more or less in the layout that generated the Roman urbanization.
In short, sooner or later you have to see this great Gate of Damascus. A door that also it can bring us closer to the most special places in Jerusalem. This is the case of the Esplanade of the Mosques or the overwhelming Wailing Wall.