Section E New Testament

Chapter 42 - Warren’s Gate

Warren’s Gate was one of four entrances into the Temple Mount from the west side. It is located about 150 feet into the Western Wall Tunnel. On the other side of this now blocked gate is a tunnel and a staircase that lead up to the surface of the Temple Mount. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire (Christians), the Muslim conquerors allowed the Jews to pray in this tunnel, and the Jews created a synagogue here at the base of the stairs below the Temple Mount. But, in 1099 the Crusaders (Christians) destroyed the synagogue, which the Jews had called “the Cave”, and turned it into a cistern. This was the closest gate to the Holy of Holies.

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The gate post, or jamb, on the lower right dates from the time of Herod's Temple. The gate has since been blocked shut. This northernmost gate of Herod’s Temple is known today as Warren’s Gate, discovered by Charles Warren, the British archaeologist who worked in Jerusalem under an association called the Palestine Exploration Fund in the 1800’s.

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Toni stands at a point in the Western Wall tunnel that is the closest location to the Holy of Holies available to the Jews. About 15 steps behind her and down a flight of stairs is Warren's Gate. In July of 1981 a riot erupted here between the Jewish archaeologists excavating this tunnel and some Muslims who came down from the Temple Mount through the stairway leading to Warren’s Gate. A few Jews had begun removing stones that blocked Warren’s Gate and the noise alerted the Muslims on the Temple Mount above.