DATA RE THE WESTERN WALL IN JERUSALEM
~ PAGE 4 ~
The other pages on this general subject are here: Pages 1, 2, 3, & now 5. And, as I have said before, the site expands as I find data of interest. All of the pages, are designed for a 1024 x 768 screen setting.
On the eastern side of the Temple Mount, is to be found the Golden Gate, (Bab ar-Rahmah) which figures prominently in the traditions of the three major religions. An early Jewish tradition holds that the Messiah will, when he comes, enter Jerusalem through that gate. And, according to Christian tradition, Jesus is said to have made his last entrance into the city through the gate. The Muslims refer to it as the Gate of Mercy & believe it to be the gate referred to in the Koran, through which the just will pass on the Day of Judgement. Now it would seem that the Golden Gate that we see today, old though it is, was built by the Omayyads (or is it Umayyads), in the 7th century on the site of the original (Shushan) entrance to the Temple. It has been blocked since 1530, when, according to the Jerusalem Post, 'the Moslems allegedly wanted to prevent the coming of the Messiah, who, according to Jewish belief, will enter through this gate. The dead will be resurrected on this day, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives faces the Golden Gate for just this reason.' I must presume therefore that Jesus could not in fact have entered Jerusalem via this gate but rather entered through a predecessor gate. This site states that the gate dates back to Umayyad times, & that the Golden Gate's two vaulted halls lead to the Door of Mercy, Bab ar-Rahmah, & the Door of Repentance, Bab at-Tawba.
I need scarcely remind you that there is not unanimity on most facts concerning Jerusalem. This site states that the Gate may have been blocked in 1219. And that it was possibly built in 629. Both dates being attributed to Dan Bahat, a former district archaeologist for Jerusalem.
I find that quality images of the Golden Gate are scarce, and I have been unable to find any of the quality I seek. So I will commence this page with a scan of an old engraving which shows the Golden Gate in the lower right corner. This particular engraving is entitled 'Moonlight in the Mount of Olives' and I show you just a very small part of the total image here.
It comes from 'The Life of Christ', by Canon Frederic W. Farrar (1831-1903). That work was, I learn, originally published in 1874 (some believe a little later). My copy, with an attractive grey decorated cover, (a poor scan of which is at left) was published by Fleming B. Revell Company of New York, Chicago & Toronto & bears no date.
It has 776 pages & is extensively illustrated with engravings. And while containing 100s of illustrations, it appears to be missing a series of full page engravings. Regardless it is an interesting work indeed. I do not think that Canon Farrar was an engraver! I can only see him say that the illustrations are mainly based upon photographs especially taken for the work by Mr. F. Mason Good.
I must temper my words above re the quality of the photographic images available on the WWW re the Golden Gate. What I have said is almost correct. But FreeStockPhotos.com has a superb series of quality images available on a whole variety of subjects & permits those images to be used on personal & non-commercial sites with appropriate credit. This site is certainly non-profit! I gratefully recognise the source & sincerely thank the good folks there. The image on the left (below) comes from that source. The right image is another image from 'The Life of Christ' - reduced in size & again just a portion of the total image.
And another 'old and new' multiple image. The base image is a wood engraving of the 'Dome of the Rock' dating from the late 19th century. With that, at top left, is part of an early 1900s postcard, apparently taken from the identical viewpoint. And a comparatively recent (1972) Abu Dhabi postage stamp. And a more current image in thumbnail. All on a common theme, I trust. Having walked the 'Temple Mount', I can tell you that the images could all be as of this very moment, since very little has changed with the passage of time!
Next another composite image related to the general subject. It would seem that in the 1920s books containing real wildflowers from all over the Holy Land were in vogue, often with a decoratively carved wooden cover. At left is part of one page from such a book dating from 1920 - of 12 wildflower pages & 12 postcard pages. And at right is the major portion of an old Keystone View Company stereo image of the Wailing Wall (#11004 The Jews' Wailing Place - Outer Wall of the Temple, Jerusalem, Palestine). Inset is a reduced image of one of the 12 postcards from the wildflower book.
And last on this page, a fine image of the Temple Mount area, the work of David Roberts, R.A. (1796-1864). The work would seem to be titled, 'Jerusalem: The Church of the Purification', for reasons which are not clear to me. Can anybody explain? The work is one of the plates (#16) from Roberts's "Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia", published in 1856 (or is it 1855?) by Day & Son of London. The view is said to be from the Mount of Olives which I did not know must extend so far to the south. The Golden Gate is clearly visible as are also the Dome of the Rock & the El Aqsa Mosque. The Pillar of Absalom is at bottom right. This is as good a place as any to mention that the now so familiar brilliant golden dome of the 'Dome of the Rock' was not always golden. The dome was made of lead & therefore grey in colour as you can see both above & below, from 691 until it was replaced with a gold-colored covering in 1965. But that surface did not last & the present golden dome was put in place only in 1993. My image is not of the entire Roberts work - I cropped a large area of sky to better focus your attention on the prime matters of interest.