When entering the Old City through the Dung Gate (the Gate of the Moors), one can notice a cluster of stones protruding from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. These are the remains of a large arch dated to the Second Temple Era. The arch was discovered in the mid 19th centaury and was named after its discoverer, American researcher Edward Robinson.
The Temple Mount, renovated and expanded by Herod the Great, had several accesses from different directions. Next to the southern corner of the Temple Mount's western retaining wall, there was a flight of stairs built on a system of domes joining a path leaning on an arch 13 meters in diameter, leading from the street to the royal colonnade of the Temple Mount.
Robinson originally identified the arch as a part of a bridge connecting the upper city and the Temple Mount. Evidence found in the excavations conducted in 1968-1978 by Prof. Binyamin Mazar disproved his theory. Additional excavations in 1994-1996, by Roni Reich and Ya‘akov Billig, uncovered the magnificent street beneath the arch with its massive stone pavement and its shop entrances. In addition, 11 courses of stone of the original Herodian western wall were unearthed below the arch. The stones reveal the typical building characteristics of the era. They are large and smooth, ?edge chiseled, and each course is more inserted than the course beneath it. The excavations unearthed also coins, stone tools and weights. A testimony for the destruction of the heavy arch is in the crater found in the street's pavement. North of it a huge collapse of dozens of Herodian stones indicates the destruction of the Temple Mount by the Romans.
Several courses below the arch a Hebrew engraved inscription was found, a citation from Isaiah 66:14 ''And when you shall see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb.'' The engraving date is unclear, though its high location indicates it was only possible when the level of landfill was far above the ground.
Robinson's Arch is visible from the southern entrance to the Kotel. However, it is recommended to visit the ''Davidson Center''.