The gate was built in the 16th century, was part of the Old City walls by the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman.
Not only for its location on the Via Dolorosa, but also during the Six Day War in 1967 this gate was of great importance. Through this gate paratrooper units came on their way to the Temple Mount and liberated the Old City and the Western Wall. With this, 19 years of Jordanian rule ended, and Jewish life in the city returned to flourish.
The Lions' Gate was named because of the lion figures engraved in the stones of this gate. In fact, these are the Bardalas, the symbol of the Mameluke king of Baybars, who ruled Jerusalem in the 13th century. Only by mistake are they considered lions.
On either side of the Lions' Gate there are reliefs of lions. Actually these are not really lions, but we'll get back to that. Legend has it that these bullets were placed in the gate after Sultan Süleyman dreamed of a dream and in his dream two lions were about to devour him, as punishment for not protecting the holy city of Jerusalem. The Sultan interpreted the dream as a sign from heaven and ordered that Jerusalem be surrounded by a wall.
And we will return now to the lions, which are similar to the Bardalas. Some scholars believe that these reliefs were brought here from a more ancient structure, built by the Mamluk ruler of Baybars, who was known as the Bardalas.
If you look over the lions or the bardalas, you will see other decorations. There are flowers here and small arches. They all stand between the slits. See above the inscription commemorating the construction of the city wall by the Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.
Pay attention to the small balcony at the top of the gate. This balcony is called "Machecollum," from which you could look at the line of the wall and in the event of an attack, pour boiling oil on invading soldiers or just uninvited guests.