Gates of the Temple Mount
- 1 Open gates
- 2 Sealed gates
- 3 References
The following is an anti-clockwise list of gates which open onto the Temple Mount.
Gate of the Tribes
The Gate of the Tribes, (Arabic: Bab al-Asbat), is located at the north-eastern corner of the Temple Mount.
Gate of Remission
The Gate of Remission, (Arabic: Bab al-Huttah), is located on the north side.
Gate of Darkness
The Gate of Darkness, (Arabic: Bab al-Atim), is located on the north side.
Gate of Bani Ghanim
The Gate of Bani Ghanim, (Arabic: Bab al-Ghawanima), is located on the north-western corner.
The Council Gate, (Arabic: Bab al-Majlis; Bab al-Nazer), also known as the Inspector's Gate, is located on the western side.
Cotton Merchant's Gate
The Cotton Merchant's Gate, (Arabic: Bab al-Qattanin), is one of the most beautiful gates that leads onto the Temple Mount. It was built by Mamluk Sultan ibn Kalaoun. Since this site is the closest a person can get to the Foundation Stone without setting foot on the mount itself, the gate was a popular place of prayer for Jews during the 19th century.
The Ablution Gate, (Arabic: Bab al-Matarah), is located on the western flank.
The Tranquility Gate, (Arabic: Bab al-Salam), is located on the western side.
The Moroccans' Gate, Mugrabi Gate or Gate of the Moors, (Arabic: Bab al-Magharbeh; Hebrew: Shaar HaMughrabim), is located on the western flank. Over the years, the external façade of Barclay's Gate was covered and the ground outside the Temple Mount was raised many meters above the lintel of the gate. At some stage, probably in the 12th century and maybe even later, a new gate called Bab al-Magharbeh was installed in the Western Wall above the level of the Barclay Gate. It was named after the residents of the adjacent neighborhood, who had come to Jerusalem from Morocco in the days of Saladin. This gate is open to this day and is the only entrance to the Temple Mount for non-Muslims.
In February 2004, an 800 year-old wall holding back part of the hill jutting out from the Western Wall leading up to the Mughrabi Gate partially collapsed. Authorities believed a recent earthquake may have been responsible. During the winter of that year heavy snowfall (by Israeli standards) caused the ramp to collapse. In 2007, after a landslide two years earlier made the earthen ramp leading to the Mugrabi Gate unsafe and in danger of collapse, the Israel Antiquities Authority started work on the construction of a temporary wooden pedestrian pathway to the Temple Mount called Mughrabi-Bridge.
The wall surrounding the Temple Mount contains six sealed gates:
The Golden Gate, (Arabic: Bab al-Zahabi), (Hebrew: Sha'ar Harachamim), located on the eastern wall of the Temple Mount was probably built in the 520s CE, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of an earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs. It has two vaulted halls which lead to the Door of Mercy, Bab al-Rahma, and the Door of Repentance, Bab al-Taubah.
The Huldah Gates (Arabic: Bab al-Thulathe) comprise two sets of bricked-up gates in the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The left set is a double-arched gate, known as the Double Gate. This gate is blocked from vision by a crusader tower and only part of the right gate can be seen. The only original part of the gate still visible is the lintel and even this is no longer in its original position. When first laid it was 11 metres above the doorstep.
The set on the right is a triple-arched gate, known as the Triple Gate. Each of the gates once led into an aisle of a passageway leading from the gate into the Mount, and to steps leading to the Mount's surface.
The fact that the original entrance gateways still exist reflects an ancient promise cited in Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah: "The Kohen Gate and the Huldah Gate were never destroyed and God will renew them".
Barclay's Gate lies under the Moroccans' Gate and is one of the Temple Mount's original gates. It is named after James Thomas Barclay who was a Christian missionary in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century. He discovered it from its inner side, within the Temple Mount, in 1852. The discovery of the gate led several researchers to identify it as one of the Temple Mount gates, possibly the Coponius’ Gate, which dates back to the Second Temple and are mentioned in Jewish and Christian sources of the period. The gate was blocked with stones at the end of the 10th century and the gate room on the internal side was devoted to Buraq. Today the room is closed and entrance to it is prohibited without the approval of the Waqf.
After the Six-Day War, the Israel Religious Affairs Ministry and the dig conducted below the southern wall of the Temple Mount by Prof. Binyamin Mazar, planned to uncover this gate but they were prevented from doing so by both Jewish and Muslim religious leaders.
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