The Dung Gate. The Dung Gate. Most of the gates of the Old City have names which call to mind distant cities or ancient history, names imbued with a certain majesty like the Zion Gate or the Golden Gate – but then there is the modest Dung Gate, a name imbued only with an association of a most unpleasant digestive byproduct. Somewhat perversely, it is the Dung Gate, set in the Old City's southern wall, that provides the most convenient access to the Western Wall, and it is the only gate which leads directly into the Jewish Quarter.
In Hebrew it is called Sha'ar Ha'ashpot (Garbage Gate), a reference to a Biblical gate in the same area through which the refuse of the Temple (which was the same as the refuse of a butcher shop, only consecrated) was carted outside the city to be burned. Today the only things being carted through the gate are busloads of tourists and religious devotees; the gate was widened by the Jordanians during their tenure in the Old City to accommodate vehicular traffic, one of only two such gates in the Old City. Visitors in the mood for chintz can find plenty at the small gift stalls usually set up right outside the gate.
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