When you visit the Old City of Jerusalem, you’ll be entering through one of the ancient, historic gates that are located around the city walls. The Old City has a total of 11 gates, but only seven are open (Jaffa, Zion, Dung, Lions` [St. Stephen`s], Herod`s, Damascus [Shechem] and New). One of the closed gates is the Golden Gate, located above ground level and below the Temple Mount. It is only visible from outside the city.

According to Jewish tradition, when the Messiah comes, he will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent him from coming, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman. The original gates of the city are angled making access impossible without making a sharp 90 degree turn; this design was to prevent enemies on horseback from charging full-speed, straight ahead through them, and to make it difficult to use a long battering ram to break them down.

Also, you can see above some of the gates, such as Zion Gate, outside the Armenian and Jewish quarters, a hole through which boiling liquids could be poured on attackers. Expertly guided informative tours are easily arranged allowing you to get a rich feel for the history, traditions and culture of this spectacular city and its surrounding walls.

To find out the best time to visit Israel and to speak to someone that knows the area please call Susie our Israelian luxury holiday specialist: 01923 289 100