Jaffa Gate

Gate in Old City

Image by Alon Adika Shutterstock

One of the city's six original gates built by order of Suleiman the Magnificent, Jaffa Gate has an imposing entryway that bends at an abrupt right angle as you enter (a design feature to slow down charging enemies). The breach in the wall was made in 1898 to permit German Kaiser Wilhelm II to ride with full pomp into the city (Allenby entered by foot in 1917 to signify how different the British would be); these days taxis and tourists trundle in.

The Arabic name for the gate is Bab Al Khalil (Gate of the Friend), which refers to the holy city of Hebron (Al Khalil in Arabic). In Hebrew, the gate is called Sha’ar Yafo (Jaffa Gate) because this was the start of the old road to the port city of Jaffa. Just inside the gate is an inscription in Arabic declaring that 'there is no god but god and Abraham', essentially meaning that Jerusalem was open to Jews and Muslims alike.

The entrance to the ramparts walk is just past the entrance.


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