Part of the Jewish Quarter below the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall and extending near the Dung Gate was formerly the Morrocan Quarter (which existed from after the time Saladin defeated the Crusaders) but the quarter was destroyed during the 1948 war but the Maghrabi Bridge going to the Top of Temple Mount remained and was the only route non-muslims are allowed to enter the Temple Mount Complex by the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem. the bridge was destroyed by earthquake in 2007 and since 2011, a temporary wooden bridge overlooking the Western Wall and Western Wall Plaza stands as a replacement for the Mughrabi Bridge.
The Lion's Gate, also known as the Saint Stephen's Gate (the first christian martyr who died nearby), is one of the 8 open gates around the Old City and is one of the entrances to the Muslim Quarter, but is mainly used by Christian Pilgrims as this is the start of the Via Dolorosa or the last walk of jesus from being in prison to crucifixion and burial and resurrection.Lion's Gate is named after a pair of ferocious-looking animal carvings that flank it. They are actually tigers, the heraldic symbol of the 13th-century Sultan Beybars. The gate leads directly to the Bethesda Pools and St.Anne's Church and the Via Crucis.
The Golden Gate is one of the 3 closed gates of the Old City. This is the most important gate of all the gates to the old city even if it is closed as the Golden Gate is Located Directly going to the Temple Mount (ancient location of the holy of holies) and Dome of the Rock. The gate was closed by the late ottoman emperor, Suleiman the Magnificent of which the reason is still dispiuted. It is here in this gate that the Jewish Messiah will come (Ezekiel 44:1–3) but since the Jews don't believe the Jesus is the Messiah, they are still waiting for him., for Christians like us who accept him as the Messiah, This gate is where Jesus Entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, hence fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel of the Messiah.
according to wikipedia:
The sealing of the gate
The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541. While this may have been purely for defensive reasons, in Jewish[?] tradition, this is the gate through which the Messiah will enter Jerusalem and it is suggested that Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate to prevent the Messiah's entrance. The Ottomans also built a cemetery in front of the gate, in the belief that the precursor to the Messiah, Elijah, would not be able to pass through the Golden Gate and thus the Messiah would not come. This belief was based upon two premises. First, according to Islamic teaching Elijah is a descendant of Aaron, making him a priest or kohen. Second, that a Jewish Rabbi or Kohen is not permitted to enter a cemetery. This second premise is not wholly correct because a Kohen is permitted to enter a cemetery in which either Jews or non-Jews are buried, such as the one outside the Golden Gate, as long as certain laws or Halakha regarding purity are followed.
Honoring the Jewish tradition (see above) and inspired by apocryphal accounts of the life of the virgin Mary, medieval Christian artists depicted the relationship of Jesus' maternal grandparents Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate. The couple came to represent the Christian ideal of chastity in conjugal relations within marriage. The pious custom of a bridegroom carrying his bride across the threshold of their marital home may be based in the traditional symbolism of the Golden Gate to the Christian faithful. In early medieval art a key tenet, the mystery of faith of the immaculate conception of the mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ commonly depicted the three generations in a form known in Italian as the Metterza: grandmother, mother and son.
The metaphor features heavily in the personalist phenomenology of the late Pope John Paul II, his Theology of the Body, a collection of reflections on this theme Crossing the Threshold of Hope were written to encourage the Roman Catholic faithful facing the challenges of materialism and increasing secularism and published on the cusp of the new millennium in 1998. The threshold between the earthly and heavenly realms symbolized by the Golden Gate represents the Mystical Body of the Church, the bride of the bridegroom Jesus Christ.
In Christian escatology, sunrise at east refers to Christ's resurrection at dawn on Easter Sunday. Christian sanctuaries are often oriented for congregational worship at an altar facing East. City gates in Christian urban centers often contain religious artifacts intended to guard the city from attacks and to bless travelers. Vilnius' Ostra Brama (Lithuania) contains an icon of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn venerated by both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants.
The Damascus Gate is the most popular old gate of Jerusalem and just outside the gate are the taxi stands and buses with Israeli Arab Drivers that drive to Areas of the West Bank like Bethlehem or Ramallah or Jericho as Jewish Israelis are forbidden to go to the West Bank without special permits. The gate is the most imposing of Jerusalem’s gateways and also faces north and is named for Damascus which the Ottoman Governors of the Levant resided. It is always a busy thoroughfare, thanks to the bustling markets and souks within it as it is in the Muslim Quarter. Below the 16th-century gate, archaeologists have uncovered part of the entryway built by Emperor Hadrian in the second century BC.
Herod's Gate is one of the 8 open gates to the old City of Jerusalem and lies just a stone's throw away from the bigger Damascus Gate and both leads to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. This modest gate is one of the newest gates of Jerusalem and was built in 1875 by the Ottomans. In Arabic and Hebrew this north-facing gate, which leads to the Old City markets, is called the Flowers Gate and it was known as the Herod's Gate at present since it is said that an ancient crusader church was built beside the gate as it was the alleged Palace of the Judean King and Vassal of the Roman, Herod Antipas.
the zion gate is one of the 8 ancient gate of Jerusalem but only 7 are passable as the Golden Gate at the Temple Mount Remains Closed until the Jewish Messiah (Jews don't accept Jesus as the messiah, christians do) will come. The Zion Gate is named as it is the closest gate to Mount Zion from the Old City and it lies at the Armenian Quarter of the Old City. The Arabic Name is Bab an-Nabi Dawud (Prophet David Gate) as the Tomb of King David, on adjacent Mount Zion, is only a few steps away.
The Dung Gate is one of the 8 gates to the old City of Jerusalem and lies at the Jewish Quarter and is closest to the Wailing (Western) Wall and is where most of the tour buses and tour vans drop off or fetch the christian pilgrims or secular tourists who go on an old city tour. The gate was renovated in 1967 after it was captured by Israel during the 1967 war. Dung Gate got it's name from from the refuse dumped here in antiquity, where the prevailing winds would carry odors away. Nehemiah 2:13 mentions a Dung Gate that was probably near this one.
The Jaffa gate is now the main gate into the old city as it faces the new city. The Jaffa gate has also been used since ancient times to mark kilometer 0 in the holy land. The Lion's gate faces the mount of Olives and Jeosphat valley where the main cemetaries of Jerusalem are. The Lion's gate also is close to the start of the Via Dolorosa.
Also known as St Stephen's Gate, Lion's Gate is regarded as the location of the last entrance by Christ from the Garden of Gethsemane and his walk to his crucifixion. In effect, the gate is seen by many as the beginning of the Via Dolorosa.
The present structure of course would not have been around, built as it was in the 16th century. Ironically, the gate is decorated with the figures of four panthers rather than lions. It is one of the 7 gates that remain open in the walls and ramparts surrounding the old city and is the closest to the christian sites of the Mount of Olives.
Also next to the Muslim Quarter and not far from Damascus Gate, Herod's Gate is also called Flower Gate (Sha'ar HaPerahim in Hebrew and Bab as-Zahra in Arabic).
Less grand than some of the other, older gates (Herod's Gate is one of the newest leadng to Jerusalem's Old City), the gate got its second name - Flower Gate - from the flower design that can be seen on its outer side. Still, much grander than a wicker gate that stood in its place during Suleiman's reign in 16th C!
The name 'Herod's Gate' has been given to it by pilgrims who believed that Herod Antipas of the Bible had his palace here.
Since we were staying in East Jerusalem, Damascus Gate was the main gateway to the Old City. it's also known as Shechem Gate, or Nablus Gate (we were walking up Nablus Rd. to get there), or also Bab el-Amud (Column Gate)
The current gate, built during the reign of Sultan Suleiman, has replaced a much older one that stood on the same spot since ca. 90BC, when it was the main entrance to the city. Hadrian pretty much rebuilt it in 2nd century AD, but this was still not enough for Suleiman, who embarked on his own reconstruction in the mid-16th C. There used to be a column with Madaba map, dating back to Hadrian'reign (hence the Column Gate name), but this is long gone.
Damascus Gate is also the start of the Souk, with stalls selling everything from cinnamon whirls (very tasty!) and herbs to the latest (pirated) dvds.
The Dung Gate is not as large as the Jaffa Gate or as visually pleasing as the Damascus Gate but it does have an important feature that makes it a very popular gate, its right by the Western Wall and Temple Mount. As a result its one of the busiest gates in the Old City and during the day there is always a long line of tour buses parked on the street leading to the Dung Gate.
This the most popular and well known of all the gates of the Old City as it has the largest entrance of all the gates. Most buses stop at Jaffa Gate and taxis are always congregating around this gate as well. From within Jaffa Gate there is the Information Center which is a great place to get help planning your visit to Jerusalem as well as a free map. The Tower of David is part of the Jaffa Gate and there is also a Post Office just inside the gate as well. In short Jaffa Gate ends up being a staple of almost any tourists visit to the Old City.
Of all the gates in Jerusalem the Damascus Gate is the most visually pleasing, its the one gate the looks the most like an original entrance to the Old City back in the day. There are large steps that form what looks like a ampitheatre with the Damascus Gate as a backdrop. Its kind of like the Israeli version of the Spanish Steps. Its a great place to sit in the sun and people watch, its also a center of activity. Just north of the gate is the Garden Tomb and within the gate is a flurry of vendors selling just about everything you can imagine. Of all the gates in the Old City I found the Damascus gate to be the one that matched the gates of Jerusalem that I had always imagined.
There are many old gates and they are outstanding. You probably need to read a little history for each of them to understand and appreciate their significance.
We didn't cover them all, but wandered through Damascus Gate, Lions Gate (good access to Mount of Olives) and Jaffa Gate (the main entrance).