The slender minaret of Bab al-Asbat, elegantly and beautifully proportioned, is built against the westernmost portico of the north border of al-Haram al-Sharif, overlooking the Haram and Bethesda Pool.
A cylindrical stone shaft, apparently Ottoman, springs from a rectangular Mamluk base, on top of a triangulated transition zone. The shaft narrows above a muezzin gallery and ends with a bulbous dome. This upper part was reconstructed after the 1927 earthquake.
In spite of the different stages of construction the minaret resonates a harmonious impression, while the simple decoration on the shaft, of slim moldings and a few circular windows, allow the gallery and the base a distinct expressiveness.
To arrive at the muezzin gallery, one enters on the level of the Haram esplanade, through a door in the south face of the base, preceded by five steps. Passing a vestibule and several stairways one reaches the portico roof and finally can enter the spiral staircase in the interior of the shaft.
Around the turn of the 16th century, Mujir al-Din wrote that it is the most graceful in form and beautiful in appearance of all four minarets around the Haram.
Burgoyne, Michael Hamilton. 1987. Mamluk Jerusalem: An Architectural Study. Jerusalem: British School of Archeology in Jerusalem, 415
Burgoyne, Michael H. 1976. A Chronological Index to the Muslim Monuments of Jerusalem. In The Architecture of Islamic Jerusalem. Jerusalem: The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem.