To reach Sabil Bab al-Silsila, one should leave al-Aqsa Mosque from Bab al-Silsila, which is very close to Sabil Qasim Pasha. Sabil Bab al-Silsila is located directly across from the gate with a new excavation site in front of it, showing the former level of Bab al-Silsila Street.


Date and Type of Structure


Sabil Bab al-Silsila dates back to the Ottoman era and was built in 1536 - 37 AD (943 H) as part of the water system project ordered by Sultan Suleiman al-Qanuni (Suleiman I), which included building nine Sabils (drinking water fountains), only six of which are remaining, and constructing the water canal from the Suleiman Pools. It is a Sultanate Sabil which follows a new style of Sabils built in Jerusalem, one not used in the past. The style is simple, composed of a  recessed niche wall. There is no water supply room, windows, or water well, like Ayyubid or Mamluk Sabils. The sabil’s  niche   has three parts: the upper is a pointed chevron arch with   the knight’s  rank. In the middle is an ornament which was originally a large window with an upper arch, with the inscription plaque below it. The inscription dates the Sabil’s construction, mentioning Sultan Sulieman’s names, titles and the date on which the structure was completed. The inscription wording is:


Has ordered the construction of this blessed sabil  our master  the sultan, the greatest  King, and the honourable  Khaqan, who rules the necks of the nations, Sultan of the (lands) of Rumthe Arab and the non-Arabs,, the glory  of Islam and Muslims, the shadow of God  on earth, the protector of the two sacred sanctuaries Sultan Suleiman, son of Sultan Selim Khan, may God perpetuate  his reign andhis sultnate  and make  his justice and beneficence endure on the date of  the twenty-second  of the month Rajab al-Murajjib(the blessed), of themonths of the  year nine hundred and forty-three.


The third and lower part comprises a long, marble water trough, with a front marble panel in which special openings allow the flow of water from a small cistern behind the Sabil’s vault.


This Sabil was fed by the Sabil Canal line before the water entered al-Aqsa Mosque through pottery pipes.


Sabil Bab al-Silsila (Chain Gate)