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Porta dei Leoni gerusalemme

Walled city Jerusalem, Israel

Symbol of the beginning of the Via Dolorosa Porta dei Leoni gerusalemme

The Lion Gate, also Stephanstor, is one of the eight gates of Jerusalem's Old Town. It was built at the time of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. It leads north of the Temple Mount from the east into the Muslim Quarter of the Walled City. Suleiman had actually wanted to call the gate to the Jordan Valley, "Bab el-Ghor," but the name never prevailed. The gate received its name because of two Panther reliefs on the outside of the wall, which were mistaken for lions. The Panthers come from the heraldic mark of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars (1260-77). The second common name "Stephanstor" refers to the tradition that the martyr Stephen was stoned near the gate (Acts 7:57 ff.) (But also: Damascus Gate). Because the gate also leads to the grave, which is considered a Marian tomb, the gate in Arabic is also called "Marientor". The Crusaders called it the "Gate of Jehosafat".

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