Sabil Bab al-Silsilah

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Bab al-Silsila Sabil (سبيل باب السلسله), that abuts the wall of al-Turba al-Sa'diyya to the west, and faces the square of Bab al-Silsila, is only 7m from the Chain Gate of al-Haram al-Sharif (of the same name). It is considered as one of the most beautiful fountains, because it is decorated with Islamic motifs and high-level architecture.


It is one of the sabils (water fountains) built by Sultan Sulayman I in Jerusalem during the 16th century. The sabil is of a rectangular shape with a recessed niche framed by a pointed arch. The niche is decorated by a rosette (inspect), taken as a spolia from a crusader rose window. The rosette is cut by the foundation inscription that date the construction to the year of 1537. At the bottom of the niche there is a highly decorated trough (inspect).



The water basin measures 202 cm long and 25 cm high, with a tap for the flow of the water. After the restoration of the monuments in the 19th century, the basin was replaced by a royal Ottoman basin, the original moved to the Louvre in Paris in 1866. The dedication inscription is in the middle of the Sabil structure below the rosette, originally consisting of 13 lines, today only 9 remain.

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