Leen Ritmeyer

Triple Gate: The arches of the Triple Gate have been sealed since the gate was rebuilt in the seventh century A.D. A two-chambered vault excavated below and in front of the Triple Gate shows us exactly the gate’s original width. This vault supported a stairway that led up to the Triple Gate.

A narrow wall separated the two chambers of the vault (see plan). Remains of this narrow wall are visible below and just right of the center of the middle gate of the Triple Gate. The chamber to the left of this dividing wall has survived intact and enables us to calculate, with the assumption of symmetry, the measurements of the right-hand chamber. The total width of the two chambers and dividing wall give us the width of the Herodian stairway and, thus, of the Triple Gate.

The only Herodian element of the Triple Gate still preserved stands at the end of a row of Herodian ashlars that extends from the center left edge of the photo to the base of the left arch of the Triple Gate. The last ashlar in this row, abutting the Triple Gate, displays fine vertical molding and originally was part of the gate’s door jamb.