Although the space outside of the gate has been modernised with stoned steps going up to different sides of the gate, the distinctive Orientalness of this gate strikes me very much. Specially in late afternoon or early evening one could simply sit in one of the corners and watch people come and go or just loitering around the area: old, young, men, women, children, soldiers, religious of the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, tourists, pilgrims, local Israelis and Palestinians--in short, all kinds of people with various concerns and appearances. I find this gate the busiest of all for human traffic. Once in a while, a motorcycle goes through it or a pushcart with some goods. As one gets into the gate and paved road inside the gate, one encounters all kinds of shops--for clothing, both modern and traditional ones, for souvenirs, food stuff (fruits, Arab sweets, bread and pastries). There are also small restaurants along the streets inside and a little further inside is a public toilet, open during daytime only during certain hours. The beginning of the Via Dolorosa is not too far from this gate. Since it cuts through the center of the Old City, one could go to different quarters through this gate, which seemed to me the main thoroughfare in the olden times.