Essential Travel Experience #77 – Pass Through a Gate

   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.

Bisagra Gate, Toledo

There is even a gate within this gate, as additional fortification for this walled city.

City Gate, Toledo

  Avila is a walled city with appropriately fortified gates.

Avila's Gate

The Alcala Gate, in Madrid, is more ornamental.

Alcala Gate, Madrid

The city of Cordoba is known for the elegant courtyards of its residents. Often, these entrances are decorative as well.

A Courtyard in Cordoba

Quebec City has beautiful gates into its walled interior.

St Louis Gate, Quebec City

Munich has the Isar Gate which leads into the Inner City.

Isar Gate, Munich

The gate into Buda Castle is very interesting and ornate.

Buda Castle Gate

The Powder Tower was one of the gates into Prague and is still used today to reach the Old Town.

Powder Tower, Prague

Heidelberg’s City Gate is a local landmark and quite distinctive.

City Gate, Heidelberg

Wrought Iron Gates, like the one at Buckingham Palace in London, are quite common as entryways onto palace grounds.

Buckingham Palace

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.

Gate of Heavenly Peace, Beijing

Here is another gate in the Forbidden City.

Gate of Heavenly Purity

The Summer Palace, also in Beijing, has a traditional Chinese gate at the entrance to the Buddhist Temple on site.

Summer Palace gate

The Spirit Way, the walking path to the Ming Tombs, also has an entrance gate.

Spirit Way Entrance Gate


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