Where to go Guide
Qaus Al Zarrara
Qaus Al Zarrara (Zarrara Arch) is located on Star Street, just before the sharp turn left that leads to Manger Square.
It is assumed that Qaus Al-Zarrara used to be one of the main gates of Bethlehem’s old city center, as it is shown on many ancient lithographs (dating from the 16th - 17th centuries). Old paintings call it the Damascus Gate.
Al-Zarrara means a spot where someone is trapped or more precisely - cornered. One legend says that the arch was a place where local rebels who fought against the Ottoman Army cornered the soldiers. Another version of this story says that it was an internal fight between different family clans. Yet another story says that they were angry wasps sent by the Virgin Mary that cornered people who wanted to loot the Church of the Nativity.
The arch’s architecture is rather complex. It consists of two cross vaults whose height permitted a camel with a load to pass under. Above the arch is a two-storey residential building with two windows overlooking the street.