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The New Gate
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The New Gate

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The New gate in Jerusalem was first known as the gate of the sultan Abdul Hamid.
This was done under the influence of the French, in order to provide more convenient access between the Catholic institutions located on either side of the gate: the Latin Patriarchate and the Franciscan complex within the Old City walls, and the French Catholic complex (The St. Louis Hospital and the Notre Dame hospice) outside them.
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The appearance of this gate immediately reveals its difference from the other, original gates. It lacks their characteristic ornamentations and stylized elements, and it is entered directly, in contrast to the indirect entry through the older gates intended to blunt an enemy's attack. This attests to the diminished defensive importance of the Old City walls resulting from the improved security conditions in the late nineteenth century. In the 1890s the Greek Orthodox Church undertook the extensive construction of shops, storerooms, stables, and residential apartments along the street leading to the gate, which became a bustling route for traffic in and out of the Old City.
The New Gate in Jerusalem is the only gate that was not built by Suleiman. It was opened in 1887 to facilitate passage from the Christian Quarter to the Catholic institutions outside the walls.
The New Gate was blocked from 1948 to 1967, and the international cease-fire line that bisected the city passed nearby. The gate was reopened after the Six-Day War, and the roads around it were once again able to bear traffic.
The New Gate is the highest of the Old City gates (790 m above sea level), and up until a few decades ago, it was also the newest. (In the course of the archaeological excavations conducted in the Old City following the Six-Day War, two ancient gates that had been blocked over the centuries were reopened: One in 1970 during the excavations of the southern wall, and the second in 1995, close to the Dung Gate.)
The New Gate was breached in 1889 by the Ottoman authorities, as reflected in its other names: Bab al-Sultan (the Sultan's Gate) and Bab al-Hamid (the Gate of al-Hamid).
The New Gate - gates of Jerusalem