Also known as the Saqava Gate or Mosul Gate, because it is on the road leading to Mosul. This was the solitary entrance to the fortified, hilltop town.
It was intended to intimidate arrivals to view the city and its rulers as powerful. This style corresponds to the city gate designs used in Mesopotamia particularly in the Assyrian period.
It also features symbols of the Sun God and a star sculpture. Surrounding this are two snakes with wolf-like heads, fighting against warriors wearing brocaded clothes (Parthian warriors uniform).
We toiled up the steep hillside late in the evening, and find the large gate shut. We rap at the gate, and they hail us from the wall to inquire who we are, and where we came from. Our cavass replies, that he is Achmet Effendi, the Pasha's man, and a distinguished party had arrived. They, however, had heard our guns of salute fired and suspect us of being a party of robber Koords, fifteen in number. The cavass says we have come from the Pasha, and have a firman from the Sultan. The capugi replies, I do not know who you are; and thus we are kept waiting an hour in the cold and dark. At length the Moodir and several of his principal men came with the lanterns, and the gates were opened with great carefulness and display. Prime 1859, p 271-272; 21 November 1856
"Prime, 1859\r\nPrime, Samuel Irenaeus. 1859. The Bible in the Levant: Life and Letters of the Rev. C. N. Righter, Agent f the American Bible Society in the Levant. Google Books<\/a>"