Dung Gate of the Old City
The Dung Gate in Jerusalem is close to the southeast edge of the south wall. Regarding the Temple Mount, they are located in the southwest. “Look” in the direction of Hebron. This is the main entrance to the Jewish quarter.
From all the gates of the Old City Dung Gate has the smallest size. A stone flower is cut above it, typical of Muslim ornaments. Under the arch on the wall is a faded plate with an Arabic inscription.
Origin of Name
It is believed that the gate was called The Dung Gate because through it the waste was taken out of the Old City and burned in the Kedron Valley or Gehenna. In ancient times when the garbage could be taken out only on small carts pulled by donkeys. Another transport would not have passed through the gate.
Since the Ottoman Empire, there was another name for the gate: Bab al-Mahariba (i.e. Moorish or Moroccan). Because of the nearby settlements of the North African Moors. The moors arrived in Jerusalem in the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
Another name – the Silwan Gate – derived from the name of the settlement of Silwan, which can be reached by road.
Dung Gate – History.
The Garbage Gate is first mentioned in The Tanach (The Hebrew Bible) in the Book of Nehemiah.
The king of Jerusalem Artaxerxes appointed Nehemiah to be king’s viceroy when the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity.
At first Nehemiah reported about the condition of Jerusalem to the king after he visited and inspected the destroyed and burned walls of the Holy City.
The Garbage Gate was repaired by a certain Malchia ben Rehav, who ruled Befkarem District. Malchia built the whole gate, hangs the door and inserts bolts.
In today’s “version”, the gate was built in 1540-1541 by Suleiman, who restored and strengthened the walls of the Holy City. As can be seen from the design, the Ottoman sultan did not attach special defensive significance to the Dung gate. He did not widen the opening, did not make it “difficult”, with a turn like the other gates in the Old City. Perhaps he believed that the Dung Gate completely inappropriate for attacking by serious forces. Very heavily armed knights would simply not get into them.
Under the control of Jordan, the Garbage Gate in 1952 became more wider. The opening was extended for the passage of motor transport.
After 1967 the gate returned to Israel. The landscape architect Shlomo Aronson worked on it’s restoration. Shlomo later will design a theater and dance center in Tel Aviv.
Where to stay near the Garbage Gate?
Near these gates there are the following five star hotels:
- The David Citadel Hotel.
- Mamilla Hotel.
- St. George Landmark.
If you prefer a more unassuming home, then there are numerous hostels where you can comfortably spend the night and continue to wander through the Old Town.
How to get yourself.
- From Jerusalem’s central bus station – buses number 1, 6, 13A, 20.
- From the Jerusalem International Congress Center Binyamay-u-Uma, bus number 60 goes to Jaffa Gate. If you want to walk along the walls of the Old City, you need to go to Dung Gate from the Jaffa Gate to the right, along the way you will also come across Zion Gate.
- Any of the routes of the Egged public bus company.