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Lions Gate

Lions Gate is one of the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and leads to the Muslim Quarter.

The gate gets it’s name from the four lions carved into the wall above it, two on the left and two on the right. 

Legend has it that Suleiman’s predecessor Selim I dreamed of lions that were going to eat him because of his plans to level the city. He was spared only after promising to protect the city by building a wall around it.

Above the lion embossments there are additional decorations: flowers and arches are embossed between the embrasures, and above them an inscription that commemorates the construction of the city’s wall by Suleiman the Magnificent.

On the upper part of the gate a terrace stands out, known as a “Mashikoli”. From this small terrace one can observe the outline of the wall, and possibly spill hot oil on intruders.

Originally, it was an L-shaped gate, like Jaffa Gate, to protect the city from innovators, today it is a straight gate that enables the entrance of vehicles.

During the Six-Day war in 1967 the IDF paratroopers entered the city via this gate on their way to the Temple Mount and reunification of Jerusalem.

This gate is also the start of the traditional Christian observance walking down the Via Dolorosa begins at the Lions’ Gate.

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