Zion Gate

Zion Gate

Zion Gate Jerusalem, IsraelZion Gate, another one of the eight gates (see Damascus Gate) in the Old Jerusalem Wall, is located near its southwestern tip. Zion Gate leads from Mount Zion (hence its name) into the old city's Armenian and Jewish neighborhoods (local Arabs call Zion Gate, "The Gate of the Jews"). Exit Old Jerusalem through the Zion Gate to visit the smaller Holocaust Museum and Oskar Schindler's grave.

For reasons that are apparent from the photo, Zion Gate is also called the "Wounded Gate." During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Arab forces laid siege to Old Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhood. To break the siege, the Jewish militia attacked the Jordanian army unit guarding Zion Gate. The pockmarks that encircle the gate are from the Jewish gunfire aimed at the Jordanians. They are from the bullets that missed their targets, so you can imagine how many more were fired through the gate.

The Jewish militia managed to break the siege and reach the Jewish neighborhood but couldn't hold it. When it retreated, it evacuated the Jews from the neighborhood. When Jordan ruled the neighborhood from 1948 until the 1967 war, Zion Gate remained shut.

Just outside Zion Gate is an Armenian church dedicated to Caiaphas, the corrupt and murderous hypocrite (see Caiaphas) who was the the high priest of Israel during Jesus' ministry. The rationale for dedicating a church such a man was elusive.

Travel Tip
To the north (just walk along the wall) of Zion Gate is the busier Jaffa Gate, from which the bustling Jaffa ("Yafo") Road stretches northwest into the modern West Jerusalem. If you get tired of the lack of space in Old Jerusalem and yearn for some space, as well as a time warp back into the 21st century, exit the old city via Jaffa Gate and walk northwest along Yafo Road. After about a quarter of a mile, you will start to see restaurants and cafes. For more of them, continue another quarter of a mile and then turn left at Tsiyon (Zion) Square.