Damascus is considered the oldest inhabited city in the world . And it was orderly constructed from its early historical beginning .
The wall of Damascus was built in the Roman period with huge rounded rocks and stones and was provided with seven gates and a paved network of roads that comes out of this gates in different ways
The only intact part of the wall stretches from Bab Assalam to Bab Toma ( 500 meters). But most of the gates are still intact with slight changes in their original marks. Other gates were installed in the Islamic era such as Bab Assalam and Bab Al-Faraj. Some of the towers of the wall are still intact such as Nour Eddin tower, South of Bab Al-jabieh, and Salhieh tower, east of Bab Toma.
And the seven gates of Damascus are:
Three settled in the northern side
Thomas Gate (bab toma): the name of the gate is related to one of Roma’s known great figures and his name was Thomas, and it’s mentioned that Amr Ebn Alas entered Damascus from this gate the day Damascus was conquest
Peace gate (Bab Asslam) : its next to Thomas gate to the west and it was takedown and rebuild in the time of Nour al Din Mahmod where he build a minaret over it. And it was called that way because the warriors entered it hardly.
Paradise Gate (Bab Al Faradis) : it was named that way because in the Roman era it was surrounded by many groves and water and it was innovated in the time of King Al Saleh Ismail
From the south side there’s two gates:
Bab Kissan : and it is located to the South near Al Baytara Square, and in the Byzantine era a church was build there and it became the entrance to the Church. And the name is related to Kissan the guardian of the Caliph Mo’awia that revealed to him during the Islamic conquest.
The small Gate ( bab al sagher): it is located in northern eastern the city near to Shahgor now. And it was named that way because it is the smallest of all gates and Yazid ben abi sufian entered Damascus through this gate while the conquest of the city, and also Tamurlane in 14oo A.D.
And in the east there’s one Gate:
The eastern Gate (Bab Sharki) : and it was named according to the location of the gate in the east of the city. This gate is formed of three vents in the form of arches the biggest vent is the one in the middle and behind it there’s a straight street while the other 2 vents behind them there is small hallways located on the two sides of the street and carried by columns. the Islamic warrior Khaled ebn al waleed entered the city through this gate and also the Abbasid commander abed allah ben ali in the year 749 A.D.
And in the west side there is a gate
Bab Al jabieh: and it faces the eastern gate and also has the same structure. And the name of the gate is related to Al Jabieh village because they used to pass out of it when going to that village. Obayda Ben Al Jarah entered Damascus through this Gate. And this gate has a great memorial when Mosa Ben Nassir entered Damascus with a great pageant in the year 714 A.D.
The eastern gate and Al Jabieh gate enclose between them a straight street that includes arches of triumph
In addition to the seven main gates of Damascus there’s other gates less important and they are:
Bab al Faraj: situated to the south of Damascus between Asroniah and Manakhiah and it had two function the 1st is misleading the enemies and the 2nd was economic.
Bab Al Naser ( victory Gate) : situated in the entrance of AL Hamediah Market and it was demolished in the Abbasid era.
The quarters of Damascus was well bulwarked behind those Gates and some of those Quarters had its own gates like Bab Srejah, bab Mosalah , bab Maser
Those are the Main and the subordinate gates of Damascus and every stone of it tells us the Story of an eternal City through ages