Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon's Quarries), Jerusalem
(4.4/5 based on 45+ reviews on the web)
Zedekiah's Cave — also called Solomon's Quarries — is a 5acre underground meleke limestone quarry that runs the length of five city blocks under the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was carved over a period of several thousand years and is a remnant of the largest quarry in Jerusalem, stretching from Jeremiah's Grotto and the Garden Tomb to the walls of the Old City. The cave has great importance to Freemasons.The 'cave' is open to the public Sunday through Thursday for a small admission fee and there are guided tours.NamesIn addition to Zedekiah's Cave and Solomon's Quarries, this site has been called Zedekiah's Grotto, Suleiman's Cave, the Royal Caverns, and Korah's Cave. The Arabic name Migharat al-Kitan, or "Cotton Cave", has also been used; the cavern is thought to have been once used as a storage place for cotton.GeographyThe entrance to Zedekiah's Cave is just beneath the Old City wall, between the Damascus and Herod Gates, about 500ft east of the former. Beyond the narrow entrance, the cave slopes down into a vast 300-foot-long auditorium-like chamber. Drops of water, known as “Zedekiah's tears”, trickle through the ceiling.Beyond the “auditorium” are a series of artificial galleries hewn by ancient stonecutters into chaotic, sometimes bizarre, patterns and formations. Paths give access to every corner of the quarry system, which takes at least 30 minutes to explore thoroughly. Chisel marks are visible in many sections and in some galleries huge, nearly finished building blocks destined for some long-ago structure are locked into the rock where the stonecutters left them centuries ago. In a few places the stones are marked by Arabic, Greek, Armenian and English charcoal and engraved graffiti (e.g., "W. E. Blackstone Jan. 1889"). Several plaques explaining some of the myriad legends associated with the site have been mounted on the cave walls.
By using our Jerusalem trip generator, you can arrange your visit to Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon's Quarries) and other attractions in Jerusalem.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Located under the Muslim Quarter, accessed from outside of the Old City near Damascus gate. A downward sloped path. Wear sturdy shoes. It can be slippery in spots. Respite from the sun. It was fun to ...  more »
  • I was just amazed at this place. It made my mind work overtime just to figure out how did King Solomon and his workers cut and removed the stone from this cave to built the 1st Temple. A must see for ...  more »
  • Dozens of times he visited Jerusalem and somehow never got into this mysterious and amazing imagination place. Note: the entrance to the cave is located outside the old city, at the exit from the Damascus Gate to the right, along the wall, about 200 meters. It is also a separate easy descent for walking along the Northern shaft (the wall of the old city). It is delightful: prsle visit the tunnel East wall and Tunnel Hail David, and then to the cave of Zedekiah begin to understand that the famous Frank Meisler sculpture "globe Jerusalem"-the truth art gallery. This Jerusalem-that is multi-layered and literally-bottomless.
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Google
  • Amazing place! an hour of magical journey
  • Zedekiah's Cave is a little off the beaten track for most tourists, but what is special about this site is its sheer vastness - the little entrance gives no hint about the huge caverns that lie below. Wander underneath the Old City and marvel at its sheer size.
  • Interesting and nice place - a cave with live music and performance. The cave was excavated during the Second Temple period in order to build a Temple. It is also called the Shlomo cave, however there no historical prove of it. The entrance fee - 10 NIS. The tunnels open for public are not long, but enough. It is a real shock to know that under the Old City of Jerusalem there are long caves! To stand there and imagine that above your head there are all those churches..!
  • Amazing, Hard to believe I didn't know of this place before
  • Very cool place!