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The Golden Gate

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The Golden Gate

Golden Gate Jerusalem 2009.JPG

Basic Information

Location 31°46′44″N 35°14′13″E
Country Israel
City Jerusalem

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.gojerusalem.co.il/item_482/%D7%A9%D7%A2%D7%A8-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%97%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%9D
Geographical Coordinates 31.77889,35.23694


The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through this gate, and will appear again when the Messiah comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3) and a new gate replaces the present one; that is why Jews used to pray for mercy at the former gate at this location. Hence the name Sha'ar HaRachamim (שער הרחמים), the Gate of Mercy. In Christian apocryphal texts, the gate was the scene of a meeting between the parents of Mary, so that Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate became a standard subject in cycles depicting the Life of the Virgin. It is also said that Jesus passed through this gate on Palm Sunday. In Arabic, it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. In ancient times, the gate was known as the Beautiful Gate. Remains of a much older gate dating to the times of the Second Jewish Temple were found. The present one was probably built in the 520's AD, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of the earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs. The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the Temple Mount. The portal in this position was believed to have been used for ritual purposes in biblical times.

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