The walls of Jerusalem are chiefly modern and Saracenic, but are built evidently on the site of more ancient walls, raised in the time of the Crusaders, and those, not improbably, formed of the material of others still more ancient. They consist wholly of hewn stones, in general not of remarkable size, and laid in mortar.
An Arabic inscription over the Yaffa Gate, gives the rebuilding to Sultan Suleiman, in the year of Hegira 948 (A.D. 1542). The walls are still stately, and at a distance, picturesque; they have towers and battlements, the latter crowing a breastwork with loopholes. A broad walk passes along the top of the wall, protected by the breastwork, and reached by flights of steps from within. Their height varies according to the inequalities of the ground outside from twenty to fifty feet.
Jerusalem has four open gates and four walled up: which seem in general to retain the places of still older ones, and, in some instances, to be older than the walls. Of the four open gates, facing the four points of the compass, that of which the view is given looks to the north, and is called by the natives Bab-el-Amud, of “Gate of the Pillar,” The “Damascus Gate” is a name given by the Europeans, from its leading to Damascus and Nabulus by the great northern road. It is more ornamented than the others, and forms a striking objects to the traveller.