A visit to Hezekiah’s Tunnel is a must for any visitor to Jerusalem.
When visiting the City of David where the earliest remnants of Jerusalem can be found, there is a 1,500-feet-long-tunnel that was created by King Hezekiah in 701 BCE to protect Jerusalem’s water source, the Gihon Spring from the invading Assyrians: “Hezekiah also plugged the upper watercourse of the Gihon waters and brought it straight down to the west side of the City of David.” (Chronicles 2, 32:30)
By the exit of the tunnel, Captain Charles Warren, the British explorer who first discovered the tunnel in 1867, found an inscription written in ancient Hebrew that described how two teams of diggers started digging the tunnel from opposite ends and listened out for the other team’s pickaxes and subsequently met in the middle!
When you enter the cave, light the lanterns and imagine that there was a solid rock stone here when Zedekiah’s miners arrived. In the twists and turns of the tunnel, you can feel the steps of the miners groping in the dark, carving through the rock blow by blow with a manual chisel, truly a work of thought.
You can lift your head up and see that the ceiling above reaches eight meters and then suddenly it shrinks to a height of one and a half meters. Here the miners were unable to dig above their heads.
On exiting the nikva, you will come to the Shiloh pool, in the center of which are pillars on which you can sit, rest, and read the inscription placed by the miners when they met on both sides of the nikva:
The nikva is finished. And this was the word of the nikva: While the hewers are swinging their axes at each other, and in three cubits to the nikva… And the water went from the source to the blessing two hundred and one thousand cubits, and from its edge the height of the flint was above the head of the stonecutters.
Visitors trek through the knee-high water in the tunnel and can view with the help of their flashlights the marks left by the ancient pickaxes in one direction until the meeting point and then the other way from the meeting point. The walk takes about forty-five minutes and is highly recommended for all those tall enough to wade through the water.
How to get there: Hezekiah’s Tunnel is located in the City of David National Park which one can get to by going through Jaffa Gate and Dung Gate and turn left then first right and the Visitor’s Center will be on your left.
Address: Jerusalem, Hashiloah Road
Tel.:+ (972 26 ) 23 12 21
Open Hours: The City of David National Park is open every day except Saturdays and national holidays. Winter Hours: Sun-Thu 08:00-17:00, Fri & Holiday Eves 08:00-13:00, Summer Hours: Sun-Thu 08:00-19:00 Fri & Holiday Eves 08:00-15:00. Last entry two hours before closi
Categories : Attractions
Hello reader. My name is Charlotte Noris and I am sure that you will definitely enjoy my blog. Do you know why? All because on the pages you will see bright and colorful photos, as well as useful information. My husband and I are freelancers, so we can travel at any time of the year.
For myself, I most often plan tours in advance, but it also happens that the trip turns out to be spontaneous when I see an interesting place and a nice price. At the age of 35, I have visited more than 30 countries and do not plan to stop there. I want to visit all continents and the most secret corners of our planet.