Qatanin Gate

Revision as of 08:56, 31 January 2023 by BinteBilal (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bab Al Qattanin, Eastern Face.

Bab Al Qattanin (Arabic: باب القطانين English: Gate of the Cotton Merchants) is the most richly decorated and in turn the most easily recognisable of Masjid Al Aqsa's gates. It stands approximately in the middle of the outer western wall of Al Aqsa.

Plaque at the door of Bab Al Qattanin.


The gate was built in 737 AH (1336 AD) during the rule of Mamluk Sultan an-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun, under the supervision of Emir Seyfeddin Tankiz, the then governor of Damascus. The 14th-century historian Al Umari explained that the gate was constructed in order to link Masjid Al Aqsa's enclave with the Al Qattanin Suq (English: Cotton Merchant's Market), which was also built by Emir Tankiz around the same time and is where the name of the gate was derived. More recently it was renovated in 1394 AH (1974 AD) by the Department of Awqaf Jerusalem.


The gate is lower than the interior courtyard of Masjid Al Aqsa and there are ten descending steps to reach the gate from its eastern side. There are also a number of ascending steps when the gate is approached from its western side in the Old City.

The ornate face of the gate is an Iwan (a vaulted rectangular space, walled on three sides, with one end open). It features five rows of Muqarnas (honeycomb patterns or moldings carved in stone) which decorate the area that joins the main body of the wall to the semi-dome that tops the gate. There is a 4-metre high rectangular door set into the gate that is decorated with a trefoil shaped arch. A small window that used to sit above the door was blocked in 1927. Ablaq (alternating bricks of red/black and cream) patterns feature throughout the gate.

Suq Al Qattanin, view from Bab Al Qattanin.
Bab Al Qattanin as seen from the Western corridor of Masjid Al Aqsa.


The Gate's western environs are dominated by the Suq or 'street market' which features rows of terraced shops that run the entire length of the street (95 metres) upto the gate.

The closest of Al Aqsa's gates to Bab Al Qattanin are Bab Al Hadid (English: The Iron Gate) to the north and Bab Al Mathara (English: The Ablution Gate) to the south.

There are a number of madrassas dotted around Bab Al Qattanin in the western wall of Al Aqsa. The Cotton Merchants platform, Ali Pasha platform and Qaitabay public fountain and well are some of the structures that stand closest to the gate in the western corridor of Masjid Al Aqsa.


Bab Al Qattanin is mainly used by Muslim worshippers who enter the Old City through Bab Al Khalil (Jaffa Gate). The gate is closed during Fajr and Esha prayers.

Sometime in the 19th century the gate started to garner interest among some members of the Jewish community who began to occasionally congregate at it's entrance on the side of the Old City to perform rituals or prayers.


  • Hawari, Mahmoud (2007). Ayyubid Jerusalem (1187-1250): An Architectural and Archaeological Study (in Arabic). Archaeopress. ISBN 978-1-4073-0042-9. the street of the Gate of the Cotton Merchants' Market Bāb Sūq al-Qaṭṭānīn
  • Galor, Katharina; Bloedhorn, Hanswulf (2013). The Archaeology of Jerusalem. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11195-8. Bab al-Qattanin is the grandest of the Haram gates
  • "Bab al-Qattanin". Institute for International Urban Development (I2UD).
  • Burgoyne, Michael Hamilton; et al. (1987). Mamluk Jerusalem. British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem by World of Islam Festival Trust. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-905035-33-8. In short, all the indications are that Bāb al-Qaṭṭānīn is an original Mamluk construction, 'recently constructed and newly opened' in al-ʿUmarī's words, to link the new market-street with the Haram.
  • A guide to al-Aqsa mosque – PASSIA
  • Burgoyne, Michael Hamilton. "The Gates of the Haram al-Sharif." In Bayt al-Maqdis: Abd al-Malik Jerusalem, edited by Raby, Julian and Johns, Jeremy, 114. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • History of the Temple Mount (p. 51, Tech.). (n.d.). Jerusalem: Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs. Al-Aqsa Mosque: Al-Haram Ash-Sharif.
  • Charles Wilson (1879). Quarterly Statement for 1879. London: Palestine Exploration Fund. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  • Ugurluel, Talha (2020). Arzin Kapisi Kudus. Timas Tarih. ISBN 978-605-08-2425-4.
  • Strange, Guy Le (1890). Palestine Under the Moslem: A description of Syria and Holy Land. COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE EXPLORATION FUND.
  • Marshall J. Breger; Yitzhak Reiter; Leonard Hammer (19 June 2013). Sacred Space in Israel and Palestine: Religion and Politics. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-49034-7.
  • Hadi, M. A., (2013). “Al-Aqsa Mosque Al-Haram Ash-Sharif.” Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, PASSIA. Supported by TİKA.