Jerusalemite landmark, and most attracting gate to tourists: Jaffa Gate (Bab Al-Khalil )

Jerusalemite landmark, and most attracting gate to tourists: Jaffa Gate (Bab Al-Khalil )

Jerusalem Visitor Guide

The Wall of the Old City is the first view that greets visitors when they approach Jerusalem, and the last thing they see when they leave. This majestic monument surrounds the City like a bracelet, and has 9 gates and entrances to the old city. One special gate out of those nine is the Jaffa Gate:


Jaffa Gate is located in the western section of the Old City Wall, near the North-west corner of the Citadel. The gate was known as Bab Mihrab Daoud in the early Islamic period, Bab Daoud in the Franks era, and today is called Bab al-Khalil (Hebron Gate) in Arabic and Jaffa Gate in English and Hebrew.


Jaffa Gate comprises an entrance topped by a pointed stone lintel with a commemorative inscription of the Sultan’s name and titles and the construction date. The opening of the entrance is covered by two huge, copper fortified wooden shutters. The entrance leads to a hallway covered by a van vault, then to a passageway that turns left into the Old City.


The foundation inscription on Jaffa Gate is longer than those found on other gates and towers. The inscription is similar to those on the fountains of Sultan Suleiman I, which suggests that those responsible for constructing the fountains were involved in construction in the Jaffa Gate area. In addition to the Sultan’s titles and date, the inscription reads:

Has ordered the construction of this blessed wall, our master, the greatest sultan and honourable Hakan, who rules the necks of the nations, sultan of the Rum, the Arabs and the non-Arabs (Persians-ajams), sultan of the two Seas and two continents, the sultan Sulieman, son of Sultan Salim Khan, may Allah perpetuate his reign and his sultanate, in the month of Jumada al-awwal of the year 945 (October 1538).


Between Jaffa Gate and the Citadel, an opening in the Wall allows for the movement of cars and pedestrians. Originally, this opening was closed, but it was opened in 1898 to facilitate the entry of the German Emperor Wilhelm II and his wife Augusta Victoria to the Holy City, where they stayed at the new Imperial Hotel by Jaffa Gate.


Tourists who visit Jerusalem always consider the old city and Jaffa Gate in particular while planning their trip, since they enjoy shopping at the handmade souvenir shops and dining in the restaurants by it. 

For further information about this site, other sites and gates, or getting an illustrative map or directions you can visit: