Search
Close this search box.

Herod's Gate

The Gates of the Old City

The Old City of Jerusalem is surrounded by 16th-century stone walls with seven gates. One of these gates is Herod’s Gate. Located on the northeastern corner of the Old City, Herod’s Gate connects the Muslim Quarter inside the old city to the eponymic Palestinian neighborhood of Bab az-Zahra, situated just outside the Old City walls.


Herod's Gate
Credit: Oshrat Dayan – Heritage Conservation Jerusalem Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Herod’s Gate is named after the king who built and renovated permanent iconic structures in the Holy Land. Christian pilgrims in the Middle Ages who thought a nearby church was the palace of Herod Antipas, to whom Pontius Pilate sent Jesus, named the gate. The gate is built on the ancient location of Herod’s palace, which has now been identified as the site of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicodemus near the gate.

Herod’s Gate has other names. For example, In Hebrew, the gate is called Sha’ar HaPrakhim, which means “Flowers Gate,” popularly associated with the blooming flower stone rosette adorning the gate tower. Bab az-Zahra is the Arab Muslim name of the gate due to its proximity to the Arab neighborhood called Bab az-Zahra.

Damascus Gate 
In This Photo: Damascus Gate

History of Herod’s Gate

Herod’s Gate began its life as a small wicket gate rarely opened. In keeping with medieval construction, the gate entrance was on the eastern flank of the gate tower so that the entrance to the city would not be in a straight line.

Suleiman the Magnificent began building Jerusalem’s city walls in the 1530s. However, it was one of the last gates to be added to Suleiman’s walls. The new gate was opened in 1875) in the northern frontal wall of the tower, facing Sultan Suleiman Street, and the original lateral entrance was closed. The new gate was opened to provide a passageway to the new neighborhoods emerging north of the Old City.

Gates of the Old City
Gates-of-the-Old-City-of-Jerusalem-Jaffa-Gate
In This Photo: Jaffa Gate

Today, the entrance leads to a vaulted passageway through the tower and opens into the Old City. The tower has a guardroom above the entrance and steps leading to the ramparts. Above the entrance is a stone rosette that gives the gate its name, “Flower Gate.” It has a pointed arch dating back to the early 20th century AD.

Visiting Herod’s Gate

Often neglected by tourists, Herod’s Gate is not too busy, although, during the day, stallholders practically hide it. If you are looking for a more authentic cultural experience, visit the area inside the gate where you’ll find a proper market frequented by the locals for everyday shopping instead of souvenir stalls selling tourist tat. 

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Shiloh Excavations In The City Of David

RELATED POSTS

Tower of David Museum

The Tower of David Museum is a medieval fortress and a historical and archaeological asset of international significance.

Faran Monastery

Faran Monastery, the first Christian monastery in the Judaean Desert terrain. Let's delve into the history and of this unique site.

Rockefeller Archeological Museum

The Rockefeller Museum is an archeological museum located just outside the walls of Old Town Jerusalem. The museums stores real treasures.

Magdala

Magdala is believed to have been the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' closest followers. Rich with archeological finds is a must!

Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve

The stunning Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve, located on the western side of Mt. Ye’ela in the Judean Hills, is a spectacular marvel that you must ...

Levinson Visitor’s Center

The Levinson Visitor’s Center showcases the Weizmann Institute of Science as a world-famous public research university in Rehovot.

Apollonia National Park

Apollonia National Park is perched on the Mediterranean Sea. The crumbling ruins of this ancient city give way to a stunning tour!

Monastery of the Temptation

The Monastery of the Temptation in Jericho was built on the slopes of the Mount of Temptation, situated along a cliff overlooking Jericho.

St. Anthony Coptic Monastery

The St. Anthony Coptic Monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem is a hidden gem of spirituality and history. Let's get to know it better!

Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center

Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center is a must-visit for those interested in exploring the natural beauty and rich history of the Ramon Crater.

Need help?

Skip to content