It was originally called Bab al-Yahud because of its location next to the Jewish Quarter. It was rebuilt and renamed by az-Zahir Ghazi in 1212 to become the most important northern gate of the city. Its simple, direct access form became more complex under the reconstruction with the fortifying tactics used by the Ayyubids. The left tower has an opening that leads to a vaulted chamber that changes the direction of procession towards the right. The chamber connects to a vaulted corridor carved out of the thickness of the wall that leads outside to the left. This double-bent axis gives the gate its military strength while reducing its practicality. During the Ottoman period the double wall was pierced to readapt the gate for vehicular passage due to the gates location on al-Khandaq Street which was originally part of the moats that the Ottomans transformed into a major carriageway. The gate was protected by two saints al-Khidr and Abu al-Abbas.