Leen Ritmeyer

The Double Gate: Used by pilgrims and residents of Jerusalem, including Jesus, to approach and exit the sacred precinct, the Double Gate originally was not decorated at all on the outside. Instead it was surmounted by a plain lintel and above this, a relieving arch. The Herodian lintel and relieving arch are still visible directly above the applied Omayyad arch (see photograph).

Although the exterior of the Double Gate was modest, within it elaborately carved columns and domes adorned a passageway to the Temple Court, giving the visitor a preview of the Temple’s splendor. As shown in this drawing, the first four domes and the supporting side walls and columns stand today in their original form; in this drawing, all features tinted blue are original construction. Here we see the interior of the gate from the outside; we are looking north. See plan of gate interior and photograph taken from opposite side of gate.