Zion Gate

Zion Gate

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based on 9210 traveler reviews
This is one of the eight gates surrounding the old city of Jerusalem. This gate connects the Jewish quarter, the Armenian Quarter and Mount Zion, which contains sites that are sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike.

The gate and the wall were built by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent during the 16th century, in order to fortify and glorify Jerusalem and its holy sites- and this is the last one among the many walls that were built in Jerusalem throughout history. The best of all security measures available at those times were integrated into the gate’s structure: on both sides we can see embrasures for the protected positions. 

Above the gate’s arch we can see a small observation terrace, named “Mashikoli” in Arabic, from which oil was spilled on potential invaders. The gate itself is bent in a sharp angle that characterizes the rest of the gates. They were built this way in order to delay the entrance of intruders. Today, cars exercise caution when passing through it in order to avoid scratches. Until the end of the 19th century, the gates had massive doors that would be locked upon sunset. The gate’s builders put effort into making a beautiful design as well. You can see this in the decorations: the fans above the embrasures, the stylish observation terrace and especially the beautiful arch above the gate with an Arab inscription, glorifying the mighty ruler who built the wall- the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. 

The many bullet marks at the front of the gate have given the gate one of its names- “the Injured Gate”, and they bear evidence to the battles that took place in this area during the War for Independence and the 6-Day War. The black sign on the left side of the gate indicates the activities of the engineering battalion in 1967, and the white stone tablet inside the gate mentions the battles of May 1948, during which the Israeli forces broke into the old city, but could not prevent the fall of the Jewish Quarter into the hands of the Jordanian Army. In spite of the success of the operation, which enabled Israel to make a breakthrough into the Jewish Quarter, the gate was eventually deserted due to lack of manpower, and after 10 days of tough battles, the warriors of the Quarter and its protectors surrendered to the Jordanian Legion. On Friday of the 18.5.48, the residents of the Jewish Quarter exited through this gate to the new city, and the Quarter fell into the hands of the Jordanians. Until the 6-Day war, the border passed here: Mount Zion was in the Israeli territory, and the old city within the walls was under Jordanian rule. The gate that was blocked for 19 years was reopened after the city was reunited in 1967. 

The gate was named in Arabic “Bab A- Nabi Daud”, the Gate of King David, since it leads to Mount Zion, where King David was buried according to the traditions of the three religions. The Christian tradition views Mount Zion as the site where significant events such as Jesus’ Last Supper took place. Mount Zion is also one of the highest points around the old city, and the roof of David’s tomb provides a magnificent panoramic viewpoint of Jerusalem.

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based on 9210 traveler reviews
  • Lorenzo Bottini Bongrani
    Lorenzo Bottini Bongrani
    June 22, 2023

    A focal point of reference for moving around Jerusalem. Its majestic structure provides for one of the most spectacular accesses to the old town. Recommended to go through this walking, as if you do it by car you may easi...

  • David Ochayon
    David Ochayon
    July 21, 2022

    Gorgeous monument at the entrance to the Jewish quarter at the old city of Jerusalem. I visited there at night, the lighting was gorgeous, this is an incredible piece of history open and free to visit.

  • Philip Tyndall
    Philip Tyndall
    March 12, 2023

    A wonderful entrance to a magical city, entertaining the the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem and going down to the Western Wall was an emotional experience, it's a cultural overload. Really appreciated. ❤️

  • Nahshon
    June 30, 2023

    Very mesmerising entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. This is one of the 7 entrances to the Old City, and from here you can enter and walk through the Jewish quarter. If you exit from here, you will be able to visit th...

  • richedean Ackbar
    richedean Ackbar
    August 31, 2022

    Board crossings with armed guards coming onto bus! Was it expected! Building in Pakistan. Get there early! Or you will have very long wait!

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  • address iconZion Gate, Jerusalem
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