Dung Gate | The Gates of Jerusalem

The Dung Gate is one of the gates in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, built in the 16th century by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Until the end of Ottoman Rule, the gate was merely a tiny doorway in the wall for pedestrians and pack animals to pass through. It was enlarged by the Jordanians who controlled the Old City between 1948 and 1967. After the Old City of Jerusalem was reclaimed by Israel paratroopers in the Six-Day War, the gate was restored.

Dung Gate, Jerusalem

How did the Dung Gate get its name? 

The Dung Gate is first mentioned in Nehemiah 2:13 where the prophet examined the walls of Jerusalem which had been broken down and its gates which had been destroyed by fire. The gate is so named because of all the scattered rubbish and soil dumped out into the Valley of Hinnom below, each time Jerusalem was destroyed. When the First Jewish Temple was still in place, all the garbage and ash from sacrifices were taken out of the city through this gate into the valley to be burned.

After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.” – Nehemiah 2:13 (NLT)

Today, the Dung Gate is the main entry to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park and Davidson Centre, home to archaeological finds and displays from the First and Second Temple periods. The Dung Gate is the most convenient of the Old City of Jerusalem’s seven gates for visiting the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter.

Dung Gate, Jerusalem

Dung Gate, Jerusalem

Dung Gate, Jerusalem

Photo Credit: Ludvig14 Wikimedia Commons

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