The Shiloach Pool | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Shiloach Pool

Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel

Lucy Davidson

26 Apr 2021

About The Shiloach Pool

The Shiloach Pool, or ‘Pool of Siloam’ in Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible, with archaeologists believing that the current site dates back to the Byzantine period.

It would have been fed by Hezekiah’s Tunnel. It is believed that this pool was originally one of two, the second, larger one having existed during the period of the Second Temple (516 BC-70 AD).

Now part of the City of David National Park, the Shiloach Pool contains fragments of pillars thought to have derived from the Shiloach Church.

History of The Shiloach Pool

Discovered during excavations of 2014, the Shiloach Pool – or Pool of Siloam – is a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, and is considered by some archaeologists to be the original site of Jerusalem, located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast.

It dates to the Second Temple period (in Jewish history, this is 516 BC to 70 AD), and was used for purification rituals. Archaeologists and historians have theorised that this is the pool where Jesus is said to have healed a blind man.

It was built during the reign of Hezekiah (715–687 BC), to leave besieging armies without access to the spring’s waters. It was later reconstructed during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BC).

It is reasonable to assume that the pool was originally as wide as the riverbed, including the area which is now a garden. It was therefore originally around 50 by 60 metres in size.

The Shiloach Pool Today

Today, there are three sources of water in the pool. Firstly, Chizkiyahu’s Tunnel, which brings the water from the Gichon Spring through the tunnel; secondly, drainage from the eastern channel which gathers the water from the city, including surface water from the slopes; and thirdly, direct rainwater.

The pool is only partially excavated, due to the rest of it sitting beneath private properties. Fragments of pillars can be seen in the pool, and appear to be remains of the Shiloach Church that was built in the same location.

Around 70 yards away is a surviving 5th century Byzantine pool constructed at the end of the Siloam Tunnel, and until the discovery of the second pool, was wrongly thought to be the Shiloach Pool as described in the New Testament.

The pool is a stop on the majority of guided tours of the City of David, and is included in the ticket price. Equally, you can buy a separate entry ticket.

Getting to The Shiloach Pool

The pool is a 12 minute drive from the centre of Jerusalem, via Hebron Rd, though parking at the other end might prove tricky. Equally, it is a 35 minute walk from the centre via Gey Ben Hinom St, and is often included in one of the many walking tours that are popular around the city. There’s also frequent public transport from the site, with the 36, 56, 71, and 72 buses departing every 15 minutes from Golda/Hartum.

 

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