Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tzikiyahu's Cave and Shaar Shchem

Cross-posted on JoeSettler

OK, I have no clue as to what is holding the Old City up.

For years I passed by the sign that said Tzidkiyahu’s Cave near Shaar Shchem (Damascus Gate), but I never went in. I always imagined it as a small room under the Old City.

They opened it up for visitors, so I took the family to inspect the “room”. (Entry fee: NIS 10 / adult)

This “room” is actually an ancient quarry from where the stones for the temple were hewn. Later on King Tzidkiyahu hid in it.

This place is huge (and has lots of rooms), and the place was packed with visitors.

There is around 9000 square meters (around 90,000 square feet) of cave running under the Old City, and I suspect it goes even farther and deeper in, but certain areas were blocked off.

I looked for the Ark, but couldn’t find it.

But I did find a pool of fresh water.

Anyway, this place is HUGE. I simply can’t fathom what is preventing the Old City above from collapsing down.

(This is the secret Freemason's meeting room.)

(They say that these are among the main supporting pillars!)

Afterwards we went to the Roman Guard Room literally under Shaar Shchem.

This guard room blocked the original entrance to the Old City. It had and interesting display of photos of the Damascus Gate over time, and some other displays.

Anyone know what this is, and what it says?
Entry is free during Chol Hamoed if you don’t go for the ramparts walk.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Kae Gregory said...

I can't translate it into English but in Latin is says, "In waffles veritas est." Whatever that means.
Cool pics!

SuperRaizy said...

Thanks for posting the pictures. Sitting here in chutz la'aretz, unable to make the trip myself, I can at least enjoy your visit vicariously!

Batya said...

Fantastic post
Chag Sameach

Anonymous said...

What, no smiley's on the faces?

Anonymous said...

learn to spell first loser.

Anonymous said...

The cave leads (or did) all the way to the plain of jericho.. tzidkiyahu ran off but I believe was betrayed and caught.

In the 1980's they tried to retrace the path, they wore robes, carried lanterns but only made it 900 meteres till they were blocked by fallen rocks.

Search the Muqata


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