Jaffa Gate is one of the gates of the Old City and the most commonly used entrance.
In the past, it was a bustling and central place, the meeting point of merchants, travelers and pedestrians. Today it is lively and filled with shops and visitors.
Right inside the gate, is the Tower of David Museum and the Ramparts Walk.
Jaffa Gate was completed in 1538 as part of the rebuilding of the Old City walls by Suleiman the Magnificent.
It is called Jaffa Gate because, as it does today, it is connected to Jaffa Road which in turn stretched all the way to the port in Old City of Jaffa. This way travelers and pilgrims took to the Old City.
The gate has the shape of a medieval gate tower with an L-shaped entryway which was secured at both ends with heavy doors. This shape was a classical defensive measure designed to slow down oncoming attackers.
Above the gate there is an upper combat compartment, named Mashikoli, which was used for a lookout and for spilling hot oil on intruders.
Above the gate we can see an inscription carved in stone, which blesses the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who built the gate and the walls of the old city.
Next to the Gate is a large breach in the wall was created in 1898 by the Ottoman authorities in order to honor German emperor Wilhelm II who came through them.
The demolished wall segment moved to citadel moat, a portion of which was filled in, to create a ramp.
The breach and the ramp leading up to it are now allowing cars to access the Old City from the west.
Outside the gate, is a stone-paved courtyard from which one can admire views of modern Jerusalem.
You can see Montefiore’s Windmill and his Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood, the red-tile roof of Yemin Moshe neighborhood, and the King David Hotel.
From here you can enter Mamilla Mall, which is a shopping street and the only open-air mall which leads back to town.