Golden Gate Jerusalem

The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, also the Hebrew name of the Golden Gate is Sha'ar HaRachamim, in Arabic, it is known as Bab al-Dhahabi (Bab al-Zahabi), is the only eastern gate of the Temple Mount and one of only two that used to offer access into the city from that side.

circa 1300 CE

In Arabic, it is known as Bab al-Dhahabi, also written Bab al-Zahabi, meaning "Golden Gate"; another Arabic name is the Gate of Eternal Life. Additionally, for Muslims each of the two doors of the double gate has its own name: Bab al-Rahma, "Gate of Mercy", for the southern one, and Bab al-Taubah, the "Gate of Repentance", for the northern one. Similar to Christians, Muslims generally believe this was the gate through which Jesus as Messiah, entered Jerusalem.

circa 1300 CE

The gate is located in the northern third of the Temple Mount's eastern wall. The present gate was probably built in the 520s CE, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of the earlier gate in the wall. An alternative theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs.

circa 1300 CE

The Ottoman Turks transformed the walled-up gate into a watchtower. On the ground floor level a vaulted hall is divided by four columns into two aisles, which lead to the Door of Mercy, Bab al-Rahma, and the Door of Repentance, Bab al-Taubah; an upper floor room has the two roof domes as its ceiling. The interior of the gate is suprisingly similar to that of Double Huldah Gate in the southern wall of Temple Mount.

circa 1300 CE

Model of the Eastern gate or the possible Shushan Gate in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. Evidently the name of this gate was the "Eastern Gate," and that it had on it a shape signifying Shushan. If the Golden Gate does preserve the location of the Shushan Gate, which is only a presumption with no archaeological proof, this would make it the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls.

circa 1300 CE

Closed by the Muslims in 810, reopened in 1102 by the Crusaders, it was walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it together with the city walls, but walled it up in 1541, and it stayed that way. The Golden Gate is one of the few sealed gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls, along with the Huldah Gates, and a small Biblical and Crusader-era postern located several stories above ground on the southern side of the eastern wall.

circa 1300 CE

Honoring the Jewish tradition and inspired by apocryphal accounts of the life of the Virgin Mary, medieval Christian artists depicted the relationship of Jesus' maternal grandparents Joachim and Anne Meeting (illustration) at the Golden Gate. The couple came to represent the Christian ideal of chastity in conjugal relations within marriage. The pious custom of a bridegroom carrying his bride across the threshold of their marital home may be based in the traditional symbolism of the Golden Gate to the faithful.

circa 1300 CE

Very recently (February 2019) the gate was opened for Muslim worshipers, which was previously sealed in 2003.

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