Where to admire the world's most iconic city gates
These monumental gateways are historic urban landmarks
TRAVEL Historic city gates
Some of the most remarkable urban landmarks are city gates—a gate which is, or was, set within a wall and traditionally built to provide a point of controlled access to, and departure from, a walled city.
In times past everything and everyone, including people, goods, and animals, would pass beneath these imposing gateways. Vehicles, too, would enter and leave a walled city via these monumental transit points.
Depending on their historical context, city gates functioned as formidable defensive barriers. However, they also served other purposes. Taxes and tolls were collected at a city gate. They were commonly used to display all sorts of public information such as civic announcements, standards of local measures, and legal declarations. A city gate could also act as a medical post, where health checks were carried out to curb the spread of disease. And they provided a more grisly function, as a location for warning or intimidation when the decapitated heads of executed criminals, traitors, and other public enemies would be exhibited for all to see.
City gates are found across the world in cities dating back to antiquity to around the 19th century. Some are little more than ruins. Others still stand in magnificent grandeur, symbols of wealth and power from a bygone age.
Browse the gallery and take a look at some of the most celebrated city gates ever built.
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