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

4.1
#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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  • 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 »
  • Through the old town to reach the cellars! Do not have admission inside, get out of the Damascus Gate and walk along the wall to the right to hit. If in 20 minutes we had toured, although it is nice to see. We were the only ones in the caves and stumbled upon two men sitting nicely discussing everything inside. Well they didn't look bad and told us nothing but they had a gun with them. It is not reassuring for two tourists only in the depths of a cave.
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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.

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