Bab Makkah - Makkah Gate, Jiddah
Bab Makkah is one of the only things that has been preserved carefully in Old Jeddah, probably because it is in a highly visible place and because of its connection with the Holy City. There is not much that is written about the Gate - in fact, it is difficult to really even find out the basic facts about it, such as when it was constructed and by whom. Nevertheless, it provides an interesting subject for photography, especially given the fact that it is at the edge of the bustling Balad market, and still acts, in a way, as a gate for this area. My guess is that the Makkah Gate was built during the Ottoman period, given the similarities in the brickwork and the shape of the arches to other gates in places such as Beirut and Damascus. Perhaps what is most noticeable is the absence of any influence of the Najdi style (i.e. architectural features common in similar structures in central Saudi Arabia), pointing to Jeddah's historical openness to the rest of the Muslim world, rather than its connections to the interior of the Kingdom.
Long ago Jeddah was surrounded by a huge wall and it had gates to enter the city.
Now this gate(where passengers from Makkah would come through)is the one of the remaining gates,located at the Downtown of Jedddah.
The Makkah Gate, Jeddah 1906, taken by Dr F. G. Clemow. This picture was probably taken when Clemow was British representative on international commissions to enquire into the sanitary defences of the coast of Arabia and Hijaz Railway. (Clemow 1906)
The Makkah Gate, Jeddah, from the outside, a donkey-drawn water cart in the foreground. (Steineke 1930s)