Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon's Quarries), Jerusalem

4.3
#4 of 8 in Nature in Jerusalem
Cave Nature / Park
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, 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.
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Where to stay in Jerusalem

Although it lacks a big selection of mid-range options, Jerusalem provides plenty of choices in the top-end hotel category. The Old City contains the bulk of Jerusalem's small hotels, inexpensive hostels, and religious hospices, all of which appeal to budget-conscious travelers. West Jerusalem offers additional options in the form of guesthouses and bigger hotels, some of which boast five-star ratings. If you just need a bed, consider a youth hostel, where you can choose between private and common rooms with Wi-Fi included.
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4.6
  • Close to Damascus Gate (about 100 feet to the east along the Old City wall), the cave was apparently a quarry during the Roman era. Few obvious signs of antiquity. It's interesting that water drips in...  more »
  • Zedekiah's Cave also called Solomon's Quarries is a underground meleke limestone quarry that runs under the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was carved over a period of several thousand...  more »
  • Visited this attraction on the way to the Garden Tomb. The caves extend a long way under the ground and are very interesting. Plenty of great photo opportunities.  more »
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  • 5 acres of underground quarries that are between 2000-3500 years old, beneath 500,000 tons of city, very impressive.
  • Caves liked to Zedekiah, the last king before the Babylonian exile. It's a nice place that seems often unvisited. Also may have served as a quarry through out time. It's a pretty cool spot to stop by if you have extra time!
  • Cool experience when music performances are being played here. Would recommend
  • Very Beautiful Place located in one of the Holiest sites in Islam.
  • Small entrance, large cave... worth seeing if you're in the area. Entrance is 16nis per adult, 10nis for seniors and 11nis for groups larger than 25 people.