Location and Name
Bab al-Khalil is located in the western Wall of the Old City, near the northwest corner of the Citadel. The gate was known as Bab Mihrab Daoud in the early Islamic period, Bab Daoud in the Franks era, and today it is called Bab al-Khalil (Hebron Gate) in Arabic and Jaffa Gate in English and Hebrew.
Bab al-Khalil comprises an entrance topped by a pointed stone lintel, which shows a commemorative inscription with the Sultan’s name and titles and the construction date. The opening of the entrance is covered by two, huge, copper fortified wooden shutters. The entrance leads to a hallway covered by a van vaulte, then to a passageway that turns left (eastwards) into the Old City.
Bab al-Khalil is characterized by a foundation inscription that is relatively longer than similar inscriptions on other gates and towers. The inscription is similar to those on the fountains of Sultan Suleiman I (Suleiman al-Qanuni), which suggests that the team that was responsible for constructing the fountains was involved in construction in the area of Bab al-Khalil. The inscription, in addition to having the sultan’s titles and date, reads:
Has ordered the construction of this blessed wall, our master, the greatest sultan and honourable Hakan, who rules the necks of the nations, sultan of the Rum, the Arabs and the non-Arabs( Persians-ajams) sultan of the two Seas and two continents, the sultan Sulieman, son of Sultan Salim Khan, may Allah perpetuate his reign and his sultanate, in the month of Jumada al-awwal of the year 945(October 1538)
Emperor Wilhelm’s Gateway
Between Bab al-Khalil and the Citadel, there is an opening in the Wall that allows for the movement of cars and pedestrians. Originally, this opening was closed, but was opened in 1898 to facilitate the entry of German Emperor Wilhelm II and his wife Augusta Victoria to the Holy City, where they stayed at the new Imperial Hotel in the area of Bab al-Khalil.