Lions' Gate

Lions' Gate
1984
Old City-Muslim Quarter, Sha'ar Ha'arayot st.

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The Lion's Gate, also known as the Gate of Jehoshafat, St. Mary's Gate, St.Stephen's Gate, and the Gate of the Tribes, is located on the eastern wall of the Old City, which rises above the steep western bank of the Kidron Valley. The gate is near the Temple Mount's northern wall. It opens directly into the Muslim Quarter and is the gate closest to the first station of the cross on the Via Dolorosa.The Israeli Army fought its way into the Old City here during the Six Day War (1967). The gate also forms the main link between the Old City and some of the most revered Christian sites outside the walls, such as the Garden of Gethsemane and other shrines on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. The gate’s arched portal is set in a decorated facade topped by battlements and studded with stone carvings, including the four lions that give it its Hebrew name. Legend says that Suleiman had a dream in which he was devoured by wild beasts for failing to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; he promptly applied himself to the task and commemorated its motivation by having lions carved into this facade, completed in 1538-39. In 1984, the Jerusalem Foundation restored the gate and made improvements inside it, including creation of a seating area opposite St. Anne's Church.