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Golden Gate in Wikipedia
The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is
the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City
Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה)
(Divine Presence) used to appear through this gate, and will
appear again when the Messiah comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3) and a
new gate replaces the present one; that is why Jews used to
pray for mercy at the former gate at this location. Hence
the name Sha'ar Harachamim (שער הרחמים), the Gate of Mercy.
In Christian apocryphal texts, the gate was the scene of a
meeting between the parents of Mary, so that Joachim and
Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate became a standard subject in
cycles depicting the Life of the Virgin. It is also said
that Jesus passed through this gate on Palm Sunday. In
Arabic, it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. In ancient
times, the gate was known as the Beautiful Gate.
Remains of a much older gate dating to the times of the
Second Jewish Temple were found. The present one was
probably built in the 520s AD, as part of Justinian I's
building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of the
earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it
was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine
artisans employed by the Umayyad khalifs.
The gate is located in the middle of the eastern side of the
Temple Mount. The portal in this position was believed to
have been used for ritual purposes in biblical times.
In Jewish tradition, this is the gate through which the
Messiah will enter Jerusalem. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I
sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541 to prevent the Messiah's
entrance. The Muslims also built a cemetery in front of the
gate, in the belief that the precursor to the Messiah,
Elijah, would not be able to pass through, since he is a
Kohen. This belief is erroneous because a
Kohen is permitted to enter a cemetery in which primarily
non-Jews are buried.
The Golden Gate is one of the few sealed gates in
Jerusalem's Old City Walls, along with the Huldah Gates, and
a small Biblical and Crusader-era postern located several
stories above ground on the southern side of the eastern