5 reasons why you should visit the historic Makkah Gate in Jeddah
It is one of the oldest standing structures in the city…
Jeddah is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Saudi Arabia but it is also a treasure-trove of history. It is one of the oldest cities in Saudi Arabia – much older than the Kingdom itself – and although it has changed and developed so much over the years, remnants of what it used to be still remain.
If you are looking to explore some of Jeddah’s history, the Makkah Gate (or Bab Makkah) is a fantastic place to start. Here are five reasons why you should pay it a visit…
1. It used to be part of a massive wall that surrounded Jeddah
Jeddah has been around for a very long time and has served two very important purposes: first, as the main seaport for the region; and as the port of entry to Makkah for religious pilgrims. At one point, its people built a huge wall to protect themselves from outside invasions with two doors on either side, one on the side facing Makkah and the other facing the sea. Bab Makkah, as the name suggests, is the former. Over the years, and as Jeddah grew, most of the wall was broken down. Only a few parts of it, including Bab Makkah, remain today.
2. It is the oldest of the seven gates
Originally, the wall had six towers with a gate each that faced different directions. Many years later, a final gate was added. You will find all of these gates still standing in various parts of the city, even though the wall between them has since been removed.
3. It is next to a sprawling souq
The gate now stands at Historic Jeddah, the last remaining of one of the older settlements that hasn’t changed much over the decades, unlike the rest of the city. The ensemble of traditional buildings have now been converted to an open-air market with small shops, stalls, and carts that cater to visitors.
4. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The gate and the market around it, also known as Historic Jeddah, are a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Saudi Arabia and this is the only one in Jeddah.
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5. It is a great place for photography
Not only is the gate a beautiful sight, the architecture of Historic Jeddah is like no other.
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