Old Jerusalem Wall

Jerusalem Wall, Israel

Damascus Gate Old Jerusalem Wall Zion Gate
Old Jerusalem Wall

Old Jerusalem Wall - Israel

The majestic Old Jerusalem wall isn't the biblically old one. The Roman army destroyed the last of those after sacking Jerusalem in 70 AD. The current Old Jerusalem wall was built by Suleiman in 1540, so it is less than 500 years old.

About ten feet thick and up to fifty feet high, Suleiman's wall is dotted with forty-two defensive lookout post, including the one above, which looks out to the south. The wall is about three miles long and encloses Old Jerusalem roughly in the shape of a trapezoid.

Given the topography of Old Jerusalem, which sits on a hill top with steep drop offs on its east, west and south sides, the weakness of every wall built to protect the city was considered the northern facade, through which every successful breach in history occurred.

The Old Jerusalem wall has eight gates. Counter clock-wise from the Temple Mount, they are as below:

Facing eastward from the Temple Mount is the Golden Gate, through which the Jews of the Byzantine era claimed the Messiah will enter Jerusalem. To prevent the entry of the Messiah who already came,* Muslims sealed this gate during Suleiman's construction.

North of the Golden Gate but still facing eastward is the Lion's Gate, named after the two pairs of relief lion figures that flank the gate, also known as Stephen's Gate, named after the first Christian martyr.

Opening northward from the northeast corner of the city is Herod's Gate, which along with the magnificent Damascus Gate, serves the northeastern Arab/Muslim neighborhood.

At the northwestern corner of the city is the New Gate, opened in 1889 to provide easier access into the city's Christian neighborhood. In this ancient city, a century is considered new.

South of the New Gate and facing westward is the bustling Jaffa Gate. Be advised that the "Christian" Information Center occupiying a prominent location at Jaffa Gate is Roman Catholic and run by nuns and priests wearing civilian clothes who direct unsuspecting Christian visitors to the Holy Sepulcher Church instead of the real Golgotha and Jesus' tomb.

South of the Jaffa Gate at the city's southwest corner is the Zion Gate, which opens onto Mount Zion, and facing south from east of it is the Dung Gate through which the city's garbage was disposed.

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:19-26)

Travel Tip
From sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday all Jewish businesses in Israel shut in observance of the Sabbath. This includes shops and restaurants, as well as transportation; bus and train departures stop at around 2pm on Friday to enable arrival before sunset and don't resume until around 8pm on Saturday.

Damascus Gate Zion Gate