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- "Gatekeeper's Dwelling" Dept. 56 Little Town Of Bethlehem Item #59797. Introduced 1999 and retired 2001. Mint condition piece in original box & sleeve. Two-story stone building with an arched stone passageway houses the person in charge of maintaining the gateway to the town. People entered walled cities through gates during biblical times. The important task of monitoring the comings and goings of the town was given to the gatekeeper who usually lived in the dwelling above or next to the gate entrance. This point of entry became a combination civic, community and market center. This entrance would connect to a main road or street of shops where artisans and their apprentices lived and worked. Shops lined both sides of the street and were used for living quarters and storage. During the heat of the day, shade was provided by propped up blankets as well as stone arches which extended over the street. Size: 6.5" x 6" x 7.5".
Dept 56 Retirees, Inc.(since 1987)