About the project
Jaffa Gate, also known as the Gate of the Friend, Hebron Gate and the Gate of David’s Prayer Shrine, marks the end of the road that led to Jerusalem from the ancient port of Jaffa and the beginning of one of two major axes that divide the Old City into four quarters. The gate, actually a gatehouse built 1530-40, has been an entry point into the Old City for western pilgrims for centuries. In 1898, the gate was opened and a road paved through it to allow Kaiser Wilhelm’s carriage to pass through. The Jerusalem Foundation’s restoration and renovation of the gate–the first restoration of a gate into the Old City following the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem and a project intended to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel–included repair of its pointed arch entrance, massive iron doors and large niche and creation of a small entry plaza. An Arabic inscription at the gate reads, “In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Great Sultan, King of the Turks, Arabs and Persians, Suleiman son of Selim Khan—may Allah make his Kingdom eternal—gave the order to build this blessed Wall.” A lower inscription, in Hebrew and Arabic, commemorates the 1969 repair of the wall, and quotes Nehemiah, who “healed” the breaches in the wall in the 5th Century BCE after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile.