We use cookies to collect general visitor statistics but not personal information. Privacy policy

Herod's Temple - West Wall

Bible overview
Entrances into Herod's temple from the west
Contributed by Bible Scenes
Story also available on our translated website: Spanish
On the South-West corner of the Temple was an entrance via steps over an arch now known as Robinson’s arch (after the British Archaeologist who discover it in 1838). <br/>It gave access to the Temple from Jerusalem's Lower Market area and over the Tyropoeon street to the Royal Stoa complex on the esplanade of the Temple Mount. – Slide 1
Robinson's Arch itself stood 12 metres (39 ft) to the north of the south-western corner of the Temple Mount's retaining wall. – Slide 2
The arch soared some 17 metres (56 ft) over the ancient Tyropoeon street that once ran along the Temple Mount's western wall. – Slide 3
Fragments of a gate once located at the top of the overpass have been recovered. From these, the gate's width has been calculated at 5 metres (16 ft). – Slide 4
Here is the view from the steps leading up to the Temple looking down the Tyropoleon valley to the south. – Slide 5
Here is the view from these steps east over Jerusalem. – Slide 6
It is thought there was a triple gate opening into the Royal Stoa complex at the top of these steps. – Slide 7
The three-aisled colonnade known as the Royal Stoa was described by Jose-phus as deserving ‘to be mentioned better than any other under the sun’. – Slide 8
Josephus describes the Royal Stoa as having four rows of pillars, the inner row being interwoven against the back wall. It had 162 pillars and it would take three men with arms outstretched to reach around one column. The central hall was 240m (790ft) long, 35m (115ft) wide and 33m (108ft) tall. The Royal Stoa was the likely location of Jesus' cleansing of the Temple recounted in the New Testament. – Slide 9
Here is the view from the Royal Stoa looking back to the gate above Robinson’s Arch. – Slide 10
Moving north along the West Wall from Robinson’s Arch there was a second entrance known as Barclay’s Gate. It is named after James Turner Barclay, a 19th-century Christian missionary who discovered the main structure of the gate buried underground in 1852. Several researchers identified it as the Coponius Gate, which is mentioned in Jewish and Christian sources of the period. – Slide 11
The gate was 4m (13ft) above street level and gave access to the Temple from the Tyropoleon street via some steps. Excava-tions have revealed a row of shops by the entrance. – Slide 12
Once inside the entrance access to the Temple Mount was by an internal underground L shaped stairway rising 5.5m (18 ft). – Slide 13
The second flight of steps took people up to the Court of the Gentiles on the south side of the Temple Mount. – Slide 14
Moving further north along the West Wall was another entrance over what is now known as Wilson’s Arch (named after a British En-gineer who explored Jeru-salem in 1864).  The arch was the first in a row of arches that supported a large bridge connecting the Herodian Temple Mount with the Upper City on the opposite Western Hill. – Slide 15
The arch once spanned 13m (42ft), supporting a bridge that carried both a street and an aqueduct carrying water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem. – Slide 16
Here is the view looking east from this approach back towards the more prosperous Upper City of Jerusalem. – Slide 17
Archaeologists concluded  that that Wilson's Arch was initiated by Herod the Great, and enlarged during the Roman Procurators, such as Pontius Pilate over a range of 70 years. – Slide 18
At the eastern end of the bridge was a flight of stairs leading through a high entrance to the Temple Mount. – Slide 19
Once through this entrance there was another opening into the Court of the Gentiles behind the south-west corner of the Sanctuary. – Slide 20
Beyond this was the Soreg wall behind the south-west corner of the Sanctuary with openings to allow Jews onto the raised Temple platform known as the ‘Hel’. – Slide 21
Moving further north through Wilson’s Arch was one further entrance via the West wall. This entrance was 233m (765ft) north of the south-west corner. – Slide 22
This entrance, the fourth in the West Wall, was known as Warren’s Gate. – Slide 23
This gate was opposite the Transversal Valley and gave access into the Temple from the street that ran along this valley from the Western suburbs of Jerusalem. – Slide 24
The gate, like Barclay’s gate, had an L-shaped subterranean flight of steps leading up to the Temple Mount behind the north-west corner of the Sanctuary. <br/>A part of this West Wall of the Temple is still standing and is known as the ‘Wailing Wall’ where Jews congregate to pray and weep. The ‘Wailing Wall’ displays much of the original Herodian stonework. – Slide 25
Slide 26