Named after the city it faces, the Gate of Antioch is located at the western end of Old Aleppo. Although a gate existed on this site since Graeco-Roman times, and possibly earlier, the structure as we see it today dates from 1245 AD, with minor later additions. It was once one of the more important gates of Aleppo as it gave access into the city's main thoroughfare, the decumanus maximus of the Graeco-Roman city, Beroea. The imposing gate is a large citadel-like structure with two fortified towers and a vaulted interior.
Despite all the flies-infested garbage carelessly piled near the entrance, Bab Antakya (Antioch Gate) deserves a visit. This massive stone portal built in the 13th century, now surrounded by workshops, used to be the grand entrance to the old city, onto the main street leading to the Citadel. Its centuries-old soot-and-dust-covered walls belie the lofty purpose it was built for during the Roman era when Aleppo was known as Beroia - as a grand entrance to this prosperous city which linked Asia with the Mediterranean.
Spend a few minutes here not only examining the massive stonework and imagining how the place would had been during the Roman times, but also observing the hustle and bustle of daily Aleppine life.
The thirteenth century Bab Antakya, or Antioch Gate, is the main entrance to the covered souk and it was the western gate to the old, walled city of Aleppo. This was, for centuries, the gateway to Aleppo's main street, including the Roman decumanus. It is believed that a Roman triumphal arch once stood here.
Bab Antakya is the western gate in the old city wall. It was constructed by the Ayubbids in the 13th century and at that time some blocks were used from the Roman triumphal arch that stood here before. In the 15th century the gate was restored and modified.
Today there are lots of workshops around it. To your left, after you have entered the gate, there are stairs leading up to the wall, from where you can watch the busy street and micro bus station below. If you from Bab Antakya follow the narrow street straight through the souq, for about 1,5 km, you will end up by the citadel.