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Solomon's Pools

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Background on Solomon's Pools

 

Three legendary pools lie just south of Bethlehem surrounded by a forest of pine trees. Attributed to King Solomon (950 BCE), they are known as Solomon's Pools and are part of an ancient waterway supplying water to Jerusalem. According to the Book of Ecclesiastes 2.6, Solomon says "I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees".

 

According to legend, King Solomon was interested in creating reservoirs not only for storing water but because he was concerned about his wives and wished to have a place where they could bathe. The pools are carved right into bedrock and scholars claim they date to the 2nd or 1st century BC, partly under Pontius Pilate. To carry the water to his fortress at Herodium a few kilometers from Bethlehem, Herod the Great built an aqueduct.

 

Later, four-inch clay pipes that were installed to replace two ancient aqueducts during the Ottoman period. Below the second pool one can see the pump station and pipes that carried the water.

 

 

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