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

4.0
#6 of 9 in Nature in Jerusalem
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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Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon's Quarries) Reviews
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  • The tasks and activities in beautiful and familiar cave. Letter puzzle, creativity, play, music and acquiring knowledge. Family entertainment!!!
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  • It is a long underground tunnel beneath the old city, initially naturally and then expanded for a variety of purposes. Repeatedly reopened to the public, are now managed by the municipality of Jerusalem.
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  • Nice cool activity to do on a hot August day. They also had a much appreciated water fountain there.  more »
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  • The place is amazing! We entered in the night for a pop show by Nathan Goshen. All the way down was a sea of candles. The temperature inside was actually warmer then outside. I would visit the place during the day as well it looks very interesting.
  • Huge cave. Definitely learn the historical significance behind it otherwise the whole thing will mean nothing to you. Very interesting story
  • Massively cool. Totally unexpected what was there. Be wary of the Arabs in the area. They take advantage of tourists.
  • Special Chanukah program. Not bad, kept kids busy for 1.5 hours, 30 shekel each.
  • Intristing trail under the mountain. The wet route is unique

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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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