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.
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