View of the Damascus Gate looking southwest. The gate is situated on the northern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the principle gate of the Old City.
It dates to the time of Suleiman the Magnificent (ca. A.D. 1541). Notice bridge over the excavated area which leads into the opening of the gate. On the right (west) and left (east) of the gate are two projecting towers. At their corners are machicolations from which nasty things could be poured down on those attacking the city. Along the top of the wall are merlons, embrasures, and loopholes.
The gate is variously called the Damascus Gate and the Shechem Gate because the road from here leads in the direction of first Shechem and then Damascus.
The Arabs call it "Bab el-Amud" - the "Gate of the Column." This seems to preserve the memory of a column which stood just inside the gate during the Byzantine Period (A.D. 326–622). This column is represented on the sixth century mosaic map of Jerusalem which was found in the Jordanian city of Madaba — the so–called "Madaba Map."