Gates often give us a first impression of a place. Because they are entryways into a “new world,” they are frequently a preview of things to come. Therefore, cities, for instance, or homeowners will invest much effort and expense into their gates to entice people to come inside. Gates are also part of the protection from invaders so may be substantial and well-fortified. Whatever major purpose they serve, they are often of considerable interest to visitors because of their design or architecture.
We have passed through many gates in our travels, so here are some excellent examples. Let us begin in Spain, where there are quite a few gates to sample, such as this one in Toledo, southeast of Madrid.
There is even a gate within this gate, as additional fortification for this walled city.
Avila is a walled city with appropriately fortified gates.
The Alcala Gate, in Madrid, is more ornamental.
The city of Cordoba is known for the elegant courtyards of its residents. Often, these entrances are decorative as well.
Quebec City has beautiful gates into its walled interior.
Munich has the Isar Gate which leads into the Inner City.
The gate into Buda Castle is very interesting and ornate.
The Powder Tower was one of the gates into Prague and is still used today to reach the Old Town.
Heidelberg’s City Gate is a local landmark and quite distinctive.
Wrought Iron Gates, like the one at Buckingham Palace in London, are quite common as entryways onto palace grounds.
There are many gates in the Forbidden City of Beijing. They lead into different areas of the complex. The entrance on Tiananmen Square is called the Gate of Heavenly Peace.
Here is another gate in the Forbidden City.
The Summer Palace, also in Beijing, has a traditional Chinese gate at the entrance to the Buddhist Temple on site.
The Spirit Way, the walking path to the Ming Tombs, also has an entrance gate..