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Jerusalem Sights

Siloam Pool

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Updated 04/19/2013

Fodor's Review

The ingenious water system devised by King Hezekiah in 701 BC to protect the city's water supply (and divert it into Shilo'ach, an inner-city reservoir) was still in use in the Second Temple period, the time of King Herod and of Jesus. The New Testament (John 9) tells of the healing of a blind man. Jesus "spat on the ground and made mud of the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam'" (the Greek form of the original

Hebrew name). And the man's sight was restored. The small pool at the outlet of the tunnel is 5th-century Byzantine. The small church, built at the same time to enshrine the miracle, has not survived.

In 2004, city workers repairing a sewage pipe stumbled across a few ancient steps 70 yards down the slope. Subsequent excavation revealed several rows of finely cut steps, as well as the corners where they turned to form a rectangular pool. The pool may have served as a large public mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath, for some of the out-of-towners who flocked to Jerusalem and the Temple 2,000 years ago. The assumption now is that this was the authentic Pool of Siloam of the Gospel story. An impressive city street unearthed nearby, apparently Herodian (1st century BC), is the southern extremity of a broad commercial thoroughfare that sliced down through the entire city.

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Sight Information

Address:

Off Ophel Rd., Jerusalem, 97400, Israel

Phone:

02-626–2341

Sight Details:

  • Included in entrance to City of David; NIS 12 for ancient pool and street only
  • Apr.–Sept., Sun.–Thurs. 8–7, Fri. and Jewish holiday eves 8–4; Oct.–Mar., Sun.–Thurs. 8–5, Fri. and Jewish holiday eves 8–2 (last entrance to pool and street only, 1 hour before closing).

Updated 04/19/2013

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