The Zion Gate

The Zion Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem was built in 1540 during the time of the Ottoman Empire by order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566; he restored the Jerusalem city walls, which are the current walls of the Old City of Jerusalem). The westernmost gate in the south wall, it is located on Mount Zion, from which it derives its name. In Arabic it is called Bab Nebi Daoud, the Gate of the Prophet David, because according to some traditions the tomb of King David is located on Mount Zion.

This gate is near the Jewish Quarter, and during the Middle Ages it was known as Bab Khoret el-Yahud, the Gate of the Jewish Quarter.

In the 1948 War of Independence, when the Jewish Quarter was under siege, a Palmach unit of the Harel Brigade broke through this gate into the Quarter to help the besieged residents. When the Jewish Quarter surrendered, it was through the Zion Gate that the Jews left the Old City for the new city of Jerusalem.

The area of Mount Zion remained in Israeli hands after the War of Independence, but the gate itself was in the control of the Jordanians until the liberation of the city in the Six-Day War in 1967.

After the Six-Day War, the Zion Gate and the area around it were renovated but the bullet holes in the wall remain as a vivid reminder of the fierce battles that took place here.

The stamp was issued in 1972, as part of a series featuring the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and commemorating Israel's 24th Independence Day. It was designed by E. Weishoff.