A week after arriving back in Israel my dad, who’s doing tour guiding as a hobby to selected groups of friends and family, took a group from his workplace to see a part of Jerusalem most locals, like myself, don’t really know about. Here’s the little I was able to find about it in English :
The new archaeological find uncovers a missing link in the ancient water system, known as the “Lower Aqueduct.” This system channeled water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem (located several miles south of Jerusalem) directly to the national focal point of Jewish worship – the Temple Mount.
Solomon’s pools, situated just north of the modern Jewish town of Efrat, cover an area of about 7 acres and can hold three million gallons of water. A lengthy aqueduct conveyed the water from the lowest pool through Bethlehem, across the Gihon valley, along the western slope of the Tyropoeon valley, and into the cisterns underneath the Temple Mount. Today, the water from the pools reaches only Bethlehem due to the destruction of the aqueducts.
It’s really a remarkable piece of construction. Take a look at the mosaic plan of the southern part leading from Bethlehem to the point we were touring at in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv, trying to make sure that water are on the right elevation the whole way through.
The aqueduct went through all the mountains of the area through miles and miles of natural barriers, in order to bring water to Jerusalem which is high up on the mountains.
It then went further all through southern Jerusalem up to Temple Mount :
What does it look like inside? my dad took us inside a part of the tunnels which is usually closed for tourists.
Into the mountains through a tunnel that at times gets very claustrophobic. You could see how narrow it is, and some of the bigger folks had to stay out. Inside there was a narrow tube that was leading the water all the way through. Walking through history…
The boardwalk at Armon Hanatziv, BTW, is known for the spectacular views of Jerusalem from the south.