To the east of the old city of Jerusalem, near the Mount of Olives and Via Dolorosa, is the Lion’s Gate. It is located just before the Church of Saint Anne of Bethesda and the Pools of Bethesda. It is actually one of the seven gates that were created in the wall of the old city. To the left as to the right of the door, we observe two lions. Following a dream in which the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent is made to devour by lions, as a punishment for the situation of the holy city of Jerusalem unprotected at the time, he decides to build these walls during the 16th century as wall. This place was filmed for you in Virtual Reality by the team of 360HolyPlaces™ .
Above the lions, we can see other decoration which adorn this entrance like arches above, as well as an inscription commemorating the construction of the city wall by the Sultan. We can also observe a kind of terrace, known as “Mashikoli” in Arabic. This small terrace was of strategic importance against the enemy, it allowed observation and eventually the overturning of burning oil on the enemy. Today fortunately this is no longer the case, this door is used for the passage of pedestrians or vehicles.
The Lions Gate also bears different names:
In Arabic, the gate of the Lions is named “Bab Sitna Mariam”, because of the Christian site nearby, which indicates the location of the funeral of the mother of Jesus Miriam.
The Christians named him door “Stephen’s Gate” after the first martyr, the first tortured saint who died for his faith in Jesus. According to one tradition, Stephen was stoned beside this door. The Christian custom is when Easter approaches, they follow a route from the Mount of Olives, then through the Lions Gate and the Old City.
What better than virtual reality to discover the Lions’ gate filmed for you in 360 °, live the experience by clicking on the 360-degree video below.