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“Ideal Spot for Ogling”

Damascus (Shechem) Gate
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Private Tour: Western Wall Tunnel and Old City Wall Promenade in Jerusalem with...
Ranked #39 of 304 things to do in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Built by Suleiman the Great in 1537, this is considered Jerusalem’s most grand and ornate gate. There are seven gates open: New Gate, Zion, Dung, Jaffa, Lions’ (St. Stephen's), Herod’s, and Damascus (Shechem).
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
437 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 563 helpful votes
“Ideal Spot for Ogling”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Background: The walls around the Old City Jerusalem were built by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1542. Most of the gates within these walls were designed by Siran, an Ottoman-Turkish architect.

Considered the main gate to the Old City, Damascus Gate (or Nablus Gate) was built on the site of an older gate that dated to the Roman times. Its Hebrew name is "Sha'ar Shkhem," (Sechem Gate) since the next city northward is Sechem (or Nablun), then followed by Damascus in Jordan.

There is a sunken plaza preceding the gate and, from the vantage point at street tram-level, you can see the daily ebb and flow of activity around this elegant gate. Friday is a particularly busy day as devout Muslims stream in and out. Oftentimes, the plaza converts into a bazaar where merchants sell everything from t-shirts and shoes, jewelry and drinks, flowers and clothes.

Verdict: A perfect spot for people watching. Just grab a falafel, sit down and ogle. Grade A.


Visited June 2012
Thank Eternal_Nomad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 reviews from our community

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Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
116 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“take a second to watch the action”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Its really just a passage way, but you should take a moment to watch the action of the passerbys. Also, glance below street level at the park below,

Visited November 2012
Thank Mikeinmotio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“One of the best places in Jerusalem for people watching”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Interesting to see some of the previous comments. One of my favourite spots on Jerusalem is at the small Armenian coffee shop just down inside the City at the Damascus Gate - the ideal place to sit and watch the world go by while drinking some of the best 'Arab' coffee. Outside the gate depending on the day and time there are fruit and vegetable sellers, just inside a perfume mixer, and all those interesting small Arab shops, one of which has newspapers. The gate is easy to.reach by tram, and on a Friday one can watch Muslim worshippers streaming down in the morning, back up in the afternoon, and then Jewish worshippers heading down to the Wall in the evening. There are often armed police here, and I imagine there is the potential for trouble occasionally, but if you like to people watch without necessarily taking intrusive photographs, this is the spot!

Visited November 2012
Thank Lorasmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
263 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“The most authentic gate in the Old City”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The Damascus Gate is the most majestic of all of the Old City's gates. It's also the one that was best preserved - you can still see all of its impressive fortifications, inside and outside the Wall. Contrary to other gates that feel more like touristic attractions, this one is very much alive. During the day you will have to make your way through the dense crowd of Palestinians who live in the Old City or are busy selling stuff on the street market, exactly as they did centuries ago. It can be a bit tiring but it's a wonderful experience - it will make you feel as if you were traveling back in time.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank allega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lower Gate is Cool”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Everything else about it is just okay. The fact it's in a super Muslim area is not the nicest either.

Visited March 2012
Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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