The Golden Gate

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The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. Jews used to pray for mercy at the gate, hence the name Sha'ar Harachamim, the Gate of Mercy. In Arabic, it is known as the Gate of Eternal Life. In ancient times, the gate was known as the Beautiful Gate.

It was probably built in the 520s CE, as part of Justinian I's building program in Jerusalem, on top of the ruins of an earlier gate in the wall. An alternate theory holds that it was built in the later part of the 7th century by Byzantine Empire 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.