City Of David – Full Guide


City of David in Jerusalem

City Of David guide starts with the basics (directions, trails, tours) and then we will visit the excavations and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Let’s begin!

What is the difference between the City Of David and the Tower of David?

But before we begin with the overview let’s start with this common question.

Since both the City Of David and the Tower Of David has the name David, many people confuse them. Tower Of David AKA Jerusalem Citadel, is located near the Jaffa gate. And inside you can find a museum dedicated to Jerusalem. Moreover, the Tower Of David has no connection to King David. See my Tower Of David guide for additional information.

And the City of David is located on the other side of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Dung Gate, and it was part of the ancient Jerusalem. Most tourists know it for Hezekiah’s Tunnel, AKA the water tunnel, but there are many POI and today, we are going to visit all of them.

Map

The City Of David is located near the Dung gate on Ma’alot Ir David street.

Map of the area:

And here is my photo of the Old City Map sign that I saw during one of my visits:

Jerusalem Old City Map

Note: you can click on the image to enlarge it.

On the map above, you can see the City Of David marking in the square L11.

Since we are discussing location, did you know that the City Of David was on Mount Zion?

For example, let’s take a look at 2 Samuel 5:7 (NRSV):

Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David.

According to the Bible, Mount Zion was in three different places and one of them is the City of David. You can find additional information at the Mount Zion guide.

Directions

During our last visit to the City of David, we used the First Station paid parking lot, and took the free shuttle to the Dung gate. But there are many other ways as well. For detailed directions check Old City Of Jerusalem guide.

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 08:00 – 19:00 (17:00 during winter time).
Friday and holiday eves: 08:00 – 16:00 (14:00 during winter time).
Saturday – closed.

Tickets are sold up to two hours before the closure time.

Entrance Fee

You can visit the City Of David by yourself, or join one of the tours. Here are the different options (all prices are in NIS):

AdultChild (5-18)/SeniorMatmon card owners
Entrance to the City Of David without a tour2814free
Biblical City of David- Guided Tour654835 – adult / 32 – child
From the City of David to the Western Wall – Guided Tour453535 – adult / 32 – child
HALLELUJAH – night show6251

Notes:

  • If you buy tickets online then you get a 5% discount.
  • If you need a flashlight for the tunnels, you can rent one for your visit and it costs 5 NIS.
  • You can take optional transportation from the end (Pool of Siloam) to the starting point for 5 NIS.

If you are wondering what is Matmon card or going to visit several National Parks and consider purchasing a combo ticket, then check National Parks And Nature Reserves for additional info.

Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in February 2020. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.

Tours

As you saw in the Entrance Fee section, you can join different tours. So this is an option. And later in this post, I will tell you about the time we joined From the City of David to the Western Wall tour. Also, on another occasion, we visited the Archaeological Experience in the Tzurim Valley National Park. In both cases, we enjoyed the experience, and I would suggest considering this option.

You can find information about all the tours here.

Hallelujah Night Show

Besides tours, there is a light show at nights and it is called Hallelujah.

Here is the official video trailer:

You can find additional info and purchase tickets on the official website.

What is the City of David?

Before my first visit to the City of David (about a decade ago), I never thought about the location of the Old City. I assumed that its current location is the same as it always was. But if you stop for a second and think, then you understand one simple thing. People can not survive without water. And there are no water sources neither in nor near the Old City. Moreover, if water sources did not change, then the ancient Jerusalem, the Old City, was at another place. And indeed it was not where the Old City is today. It was to the south.

Here is my photo of an illustration shown on site:

City of David in Jerusalem
City of David in Jerusalem

Of course, this photo is a combo of ancient and modern. But it explains how ancient Jerusalem looked.

When pilgrims arrived in Jerusalem, they first bathed in Pool of Siloam (at the bottom). Then they walked up along the market and purchased whatever they needed. Towards the top of the illustration, you can see the outer wall. Behind it is the modern Davidson Center – Jerusalem Archaeological Park. By the way, the City of David organizes tours at Davidson Center as well. And only then pilgrims reached the Temple Mount.

Thus the City of David is considered as the original core settlement in Jerusalem.

Trails

There are two trails in the City of David. The trails are marked in red and yellow.

Yellow trail marking at the City of David
Yellow trail marking at the City of David

Both of the trails start and end at the same place. But after several POI, they split. The red trail leads you through the water tunnel, and the yellow goes through the dry tunnel. Let’s look at the trail map.

City of David Trail Map
City of David Trail Map

Note: you can click on the trail map to enlarge it.

And now let’s enter the City of David.

The Large Stone Structure

The Large Stone Structure (POI #2) is located under the ticket office and this is where our visit starts.

Eilat Mazar, an Israeli archaeologist, believes that the Large Stone Structure is a part of King Davis’s Palace.

The Large Stone Structure is the name given to a set of remains interpreted by the excavator, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar, as being part of a single large public building in the City of David, presumably the oldest settlement core of Jerusalem. Mazar tentatively dated the findings to the tenth to the ninth century BCE. He chose this particular name for the alleged structure, because of its proximity to another site known as the Stepped Stone Structure. Mazar announced the discovery on the fourth of August 2005 and stated that she believed it might be the remains of King David’s palace as recorded in the Books of Samuel. The interpretation of the remains as those of one single building, the suggested date, and the association with King David have all been challenged by other well-known archaeologists.

Source: Wikipedia

The Large Stone Structure
The Large Stone Structure

One of the reasons she believes it was King Davis’s Palace is this Proto-Ionic Capital of a column that was found in the 1960s.

The Proto-Ionic Capital was discovered on the eastern slope of the City of David in the 1960s in an excavation conducted by Kathleen Kenyon. It was found broken in half, among ruins that had rolled down from the top of the hill over the years. Its design, which predates those of the Greeks and Romans, has been found both in and outside Israel in public and government buildings of the Bronze II period (Israelite period). Inside Israel, the design is familiar in finds uncovered in Megido, Hatzor, Ramat Rachel, the Shomron, and more. The capital is currently on display in the Israel Museum.

Source: official website

This is not a traditional Israelite symbol, and many researchers believe that it was adopted from Tyre. Keeping Tyre in mind let’s look at 2 Samuel 5:11 (NIV):

Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.

Thus, as our guide (from From the City of David to the Western Wall tour) explained, some researchers believe that David did not have craftsmen to construct the palace. Therefore he asked King Hiram for help. And the stonemasons from Hiram built this column. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, this symbol was adopted and later appeared in many public and government buildings.

Moreover, if you look inside your wallet, you will probably see this symbol. It appears on the five NIS coin. Here is what Bank of Israel says about it: “Typical capital of column from the Israelite period (10th-7th century BCE).” And since you are looking at a five NIS coin, I want to mention another interesting fact about it. The coin is not round, and it has twelve sides. That is a deliberate decision, and it symbolizes the twelve tribes.

The Large Stone Structure
The Large Stone Structure

And now let’s take stairs down to the Royal Quarter (POI #3).

Royal Quarter (Area G)

Area G: The excavation area on the eastern slopes of the City of David, which was first excavated by the British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon in the 1960s, and later by archaeologist Yig’ al Shilo. Magnificent buildings from the First Temple period were found in this area, apparently part of the government complex of that time. The main building in this complex is called the House of Ahiel (after a clay shard with the name Ahiel found in the building).

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Also, Hallelujah Night Show is projected on these remains.

Royal Quarter (Area G)
Royal Quarter (Area G)

The inhabitants of ancient Jerusalem once built their homes on this hillside. The earliest structure unearthed here was part of an enormous Stepped Stone Structure that supported King David’s Palace or the Canaanite fortress that preceded it. In the early First Temple period, stately homes and an official archive were built upon the Stepped Stone Structure. Remains of these buildings were uncovered in excavations conducted by Yigal Shiloh (1978-1985). The opulent character of the homes and the nature of the artifacts found within them indicate that they belonged to Jerusalem’s elite, some of whom served as royal functionaries. The Royal Quarter went up in Flames when the city was destroyed by the Babylonians (586 BCE). In the early Second Temple period, the returnees to Zion rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in the upper part of the excavated area, leaving the ruins before you outside the city.

Source: sign on site.

House of Ahiel

In the bottom left corner, you can see columns. These are remains of the house of Ahiel.

House of Ahiel
House of Ahiel

The name ‘Ahiel’ appears on potsherds Found among the ruins of this house. The House of Ahiel is a ‘four-room house”— a typical Israelite dwelling consisting of three parallel spaces closed off by a fourth. The roof beams were supported by pillars, part of which can be seen here. It is reasonable to assume that this/Was a two-story dwelling. To the right of the building is a stone toilet seat. Its presence adjacent to the house attests to the high standard of living of its residents.

Source: sign on site.

House of Ahiel
House of Ahiel

And now let’s head to Ancient Tomb Lookout (POI #4).

Ancient Tomb Lookout

At the Ancient Tomb Lookout, you will see the following sign.

Ancient Tomb Lookout
Ancient Tomb Lookout

And if you take a close view then you can see remains of the Ancient Cemetery of Jerusalem. More specifically, you can see tomb entranceways.

The Kidron Valley is the boundary between the living, in the City of David, and the dead, buried on the Mount of Olives across the way. Archaeologists surveyed approximately 50 burial caves in the village of Silwan that were r part of the cemetery of Jerusalem during the First Temple period. The burial caves, carved into the mountain above the Kidron Valley, served generations of aristocratic families in the Kingdom of Judah. Their entranceways were carved meticulously, their architectural plans precise, and their stonework of the highest quality. Some bear the remains of ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

Source: sign on site.

Take a look at holes in the wall beneath the houses to the left.

Ancient Tomb Lookout
Ancient Tomb Lookout

From the lookout, we continue going down the stairs till we reach Warren’s Shaft.

Water System – Warren’s Shaft

Warren’s Shaft: An ancient vertical shaft, 30 m in height, named after the British researcher Charles Warren who discovered it in 1867. For a long time, researchers assumed that the shaft was part of the ancient water system that gave the Canaanite residents of the city of Jebus access to the Gihon Spring in times of siege. Since the 1995 excavations, the accepted assumption is that the shaft was only made during the period of the Kingdom of Judah and that the Canaanites drew water from a large pool excavated in the rock within the city’s fortification walls.

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Warren's Shaft
Warren’s Shaft

This water system is a complex of rock-cut tunnels and associated fortifications, which were constructed to ensure the safe and steady supply of water to the ancient city in times of strife and siege, as well as in times of peace. As the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only water source was located in the valley outside the city wall. The settlers took special care to fortify it and thus quarried an underground tunnel to allow safe access to it.

Source: sign on site.

Entering the Warren's Shaft system
Entering Warren’s Shaft system

The Importance of a Water Source and its Protection

In ancient times, before the early settlers learned how to collect end store rainwater in reservoirs or direct water across distances in aqueducts, they settled near natural springs. Therefore, the ancient settlement was founded here, next to the spring.

As the settlement developed, the threat of invasion by foreigners wishing to control the area and surrounding resources inevitably arose. To protect against such attacks, fortification walls were built around the cities, and special care was taken to fortify the area of the spring. The local topography posed a challenge for the inhabitants since, for security reasons, it was preferential to build their homes on the top of the hills, and the source of the spring was in the valley. The settlers’ solution was to cut a subterranean tunnel through the bedrock to access their water source. The tunnel reached above the spring. Water was usually drawn with a rope and drawing bucket, and it seems that a pulley may have been utilized to increase the efficiency of the process.

Source: sign on site.

Warren's Shaft
Warren’s Shaft

Quarrying and Building a Water System

Two water systems were uncovered in the City of David. “Warren’s Shaft System” was constructed in the Middle “Bronze Age II (ca.1800 BCE). Approximately 1000 years later (the 8th century BCE), it was replaced by a more sophisticated water system named the “Siloam Tunnel’.

Quarrying and building a water system was a complicated task. A large group of workers was required to cut the massive blocks of stone (some up to 4-5 tons in weight), transport the blocks to the site and incorporate them in the fortification walls. Also, qualified professionals were needed to plan and oversee the quarrying of the tunnels through the bedrock. These ancient foremen certainly had good knowledge of geology. They were also familiar with hydrology in respect to the nature of the spring.

The task of rock quarrying required suitable tools. “Warren’s Shaft System” was cut with bronze tools, while the later Siloam Tunnel was hewn with iron tools. The “Siloam Inscription” incised on the rock wall of the tunnel indicates that axes were used to cut the rock. Signs of these tools are visible on the rock walls of the water systems. Besides, proper lighting was required to facilitate the quarrying activity. In “Warren’s Shaft System” several ceramic oil lamps were found.

Source: sign on site.

Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel

Using the hidden tunnel we reached POI #7 – Canaanite pool and spring citadel.

The Gihon Spring fortifications: In the archaeological excavations carried out in recent years a vast system of fortifications was uncovered, encompassing the Gihon Spring and protecting it against enemies, with a huge tower built of enormous rocks. The Gihon Spring fortifications have been dated to the Canaanite period (18th century BCE).

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel
Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel

There is a short movie illustrating how the City of David probably looked. And as you can see in the next photograph, the Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel are at the bottom of the mountain protected by a wall.

With the culmination of fifteen years of archaeological excavations, defined as one of the most complex and unique projects ever conducted in Israel, a Canaanite fortress with gigantic dimensions has finally been exposed, dating back to the 18th century BCE. The fortress, excavated at the City of David National Park, was uncovered very slowly due to the fact that parallel to the painstaking work carried out by dozens of workers led by Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University and Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority, the site continued to host hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

The Spring Citadel protects the biblical Gihon Spring with a huge fortification which isolates access to the spring, making it possible to reach the waters of the Gihon from the west only, from within the city. It is the largest fortress found in all of Israel to date between the Canaanite cities from the aforementioned period, and it seems that it is essentially the largest fortress found in Israel until the days of King Herod.

Source: gojerusalem.com

Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel
Canaanite Pool and Spring Citadel

Gihon Spring

The Gihon Spring: The underlying factor in the development of ancient Jerusalem was the Gihon Spring, one of the largest and most abundant springs of the central mountain ridge. Thanks to this spring, there was a human settlement here already in prehistoric times, which grew and increased from the Canaanite period and on. King Solomon was anointed by the waters of this spring, as it says in I Kings 1:38-39: “so they went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon; there Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!”

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The Gihon Spring sign at the City of David
The Gihon Spring sign at the City of David

The Tunnels

At this point, you need to choose which trail you will be taking. There are two tunnels, and they are:

  • If you prefer the wet route then take Hezekiah’s Tunnel (POI #10 on the trail map). Hezekiah’s Tunnel is AKA Siloam Tunnel. Its length is 533 meters, and the walk takes about 40 minutes (only one way). The maximum water depth is 70 cm. The narrowest parts of the tunnel are about 60 cm wide. And the minimum recommended age is 5 years.
  • Canaanite Tunnel (POI #9 on the trail map) is also called the dry tunnel. Its length is 115 meters, and the walk takes 5 minutes (only one way). The narrowest parts of the tunnel are about 40 cm wide.

Which of the tunnels should you choose?

For claustrophobic people, people with health problems, and pregnant women the answer probably should be none. I.e. consider not using the tunnels.

If it is winter (the water is cold), you do not have a flashlight, proper shoes (we took water sandals), or you prefer staying dry, then take the Canaanite Tunnel. But we selected the same as most visitors and took Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

Note that both tunnels end and different points. Thus you will see slightly different POI. Check the trail map for additional info.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel)

Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel, Shiloah Tunnel): “This same Hezekiah closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David” (2 Chronicles 32:30). The tunnel is long and winding (533 m in length, and as the crow flies – 320 m), carved out to bring water from the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley outside the city walls into the Pool of Siloam within the walls of the city of David.

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel is an engineering masterpiece. Beyond the hard work, it had to be exact.

The curving tunnel is 583 yards (533 m) long and by using the 12 inch (30 cm) altitude difference between its two ends, which corresponds to a 0.06 percent gradient, the engineers managed to convey the water from the spring to the pool.

Moreover, the tunnel was excavated by two teams from opposite sides. And they actually met.

Many people chuckle since only a few years ago constructors created tunnels for the train to Jerusalem. And when the teams from opposite sides met, they had a 1-meter shift. Thus such accuracy with basic tools suggests high mastery.

According to the Siloam inscription, the tunnel was excavated by two teams, one starting at each end of the tunnel and then meeting in the middle. The inscription is partly unreadable at present, and may originally have conveyed more information than this. It is clear from the tunnel itself that several directional errors were made during its construction. Recent scholarship has discredited the idea that the tunnel may have been formed by substantially widening pre-existing natural karst. How the Israelite engineers dealt with the difficult feat of making two teams digging from opposite ends meet far underground is still not fully understood, but some suggest that the two teams were directed from above by sound signals generated by hammering on the solid rock through which the tunnelers were digging.

Source for both quotes: Wikipedia

Siloam inscription
Siloam inscription
Siloam Tunnel
Siloam Tunnel

Going through Hezekiah’s Tunnel took us about 35 minutes, but that depends on the number of people in the tunnel.

The exit point from Hezekiah’s Tunnel is at the Byzantine Pool of Siloam (POI #16).

Pool of Siloam

Pool of Siloam: An ancient pool at the point where the Gihon Spring flows into the city of David. Today, the water flows into a rectangular pool from the Byzantine period, but in the past, it flowed into a larger pool that has been only partially uncovered in recent excavations.

Source: Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Byzantine Pool of Siloam
Byzantine Pool of Siloam

In the photo above, you can see the Byzantine Pool of Siloam. And if we take the stairs up, then we will reach the larger pool (from the Second Temple period). In the next photo, you can see how it probably looked.

Pool of Siloam
Pool of Siloam

Note: as you can see all the signs are both in Hebrew and English.

“The other events of Hezekiah’s reign, and all his exploits, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought the water into the city, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Judah” (IL Kings 20:20)

Remains from the pool that King Hezekiah built in the First Temple period have yet to be found. However, in the summer of 2004, remains of a vast pool (covering an area of three dunams, or three-quarters of an acre) from the Second Temple period was revealed. Nearby, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a stepped street, the path taken by pilgrims ascending from the pool to the Temple Mount. Beneath the paving stones of the street, they found a drainage channel that served as a hiding place for the last Jewish rebels against the Romans in the year 70 CE.

The pool ceased to function after the destruction of Jerusalem, and over time filled with earth and disappeared.

The importance of the Pool of Shiloah during the Second Temple period is known from the ancient sources. Water drawn From the Shiloah was poured on the Temple altar on the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles). Shiloah water was used in the purification rite performed after contact with the dead. Archaeologists Reich and Shukron suggest that the pilgrims also used the pool as a ritual bath in which to purify themselves before ascending the Temple.

Source: signs on site.

The Pool of Siloam (from the Second Temple period) at the City of David
The Pool of Siloam (from the Second Temple period) at the City of David

From the Pool of Siloam, you can either walk in the Drainage Channel (POI #17) or take the shuttle to the starting point (at an additional fee as mentioned in the entrance fee section).

We preferred walking.

The Stepped Road and Drainage Channel

Before entering the drainage channel, I want to give some basic instructions (which are similar to Hezekiah’s Tunnel).

The route to the Western Wall is about 600 meters long and takes approximately half an hour. And the route to Givati excavations is 450 meters long and takes about 20 minutes. The walk is one way and requires bending over. The tunnel is illuminated, and the narrowest parts of the tunnel are about 60 cm wide. And the minimum recommended age is five years.

Claustrophobic people, people with health problems, and pregnant women should consider taking the shuttle I mentioned above.

Path of the Pilgrims

Before you is a stone-paved plaza From the Second Temple period that served as a promenade for visitors to the Shiloah (Siloam) Pool. The promenade’s roof was supported by a row of stone columns, parts of which have been found at the site. Near the plaza are remains of a stepped road that continued northward along the Tyropoeon Valley to the area of Robinson’s Arch. This was the route used by pilgrims to ascend from the Shiloah (Siloam) Pool to the Temple Mount. The road was built on a grand scale and may have been dozens of meters wide. West of the road is the main drainage channel of Second Temple Jerusalem. The channel’s walls were constructed of hewn stones, and it was roofed with stone slabs.

Source: sign on site.

Illustration of the Stepped Road
Illustration of the Stepped Road

When you start trekking at the tunnel, then at the beginning you are walking in the Stepped Road.

The Stepped Road
The Stepped Road

And at some point, it changes to the Drainage Channel.

Drainage Channel
Drainage Channel

Though the Drainage Channel leads to the Western Wall (more specifically to the Davidson Center) you currently can not reach it as there is a locked gate. You can go from the City of David to the Western Wall only as part of their guided tour.

Thus if you take the drainage channel you will exit at Givati excavations.

Givati excavations
Givati excavations

And I will tell you about Givati excavations and show the rest of the drainage channel in the next section.

At this point, I want to mention that the described above visit took us a little more than three hours.

From the City of David to the Western Wall – Guided Tour

The City of David is an active archeological site. And only a few years ago, as new sections of the drainage channel were uncovered, they created a new tour. The tour is called “From the City of David to the Western Wall.” And as the name suggests, you stars and the City of David and then walk underground to the Western Wall (more specifically to the Davidson Center). Let’s begin the tour!

Beit Hatzofeh Observation Point

Our tour started at the observation point (POI #1 on the trail map).

View from Observation Point at the City of David
View from Observation Point at the City of David

After a short review, we visited the Large Stone Structure and the Royal Quarter. But I already told you about them.

View from Observation Point at the City of David
View from Observation Point at the City of David

Thus we will skip to Givati parking lot excavations (POI #19).

Givati Parking Lot

Though the trail map says Givati Excavations, our guide called it Givati Parking Lot.

Let’s start by explaining the name. Givati is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. And this site used to be a parking lot till it became an archeological site. How do the two facts combine? In 1986 there was a terrorist attack against soldiers from the Givati ​​Brigade who completed a swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall. And the parking lot was named after that attack.

Givati Parking Lot
Givati Parking Lot

Since 2007, Doron Ben-Ami of Hebrew University and Yana Tchekhanovets of the Israel Antiquities Authority have been conducting a comprehensive excavation in the Givati Parking Lot, located in the Tyropoeon Valley, west of the entrance to the City of David.

Excavation in the area by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron had begun years earlier but was subsequently stopped.

The Givati Parking Lot marks the largest active archaeological excavation in Jerusalem today. It is continuously uncovering different layers of the city’s life from the Middle Ages to ancient times. The main finds include the basement floor of a large residential building from the end of the Second Temple period that may have been part of the royal property of Queen Helene, a queen who converted to Judaism and lived in the city during that period.

Besides, a massive residential building from the Roman period (measuring about two dunams or half an acre) yielded findings such as a gold earring inlaid with pearls and precious stones and a Roman boxer figurine, used as a weight. In a nearby building that dates from the Byzantine period, 264 gold coins were discovered. The coins have been dated to 613 CE, the eve of the destruction of the city at the hands of the Persians. Above these layers, several layers of settlement from the Muslim period were found.

Source: official website

Givati Parking Lot
Givati Parking Lot

Here our guide shows the findings from this site, including the coins mentioned above.

Drainage Channel During the Great Revolt

Then we entered the Drainage Channel (that I mentioned above) and headed towards the Western Wall.

Drainage Channel
Drainage Channel

Drainage Channel can be a good source of archeological finds. Even today people lose jewelry, coins and other items in the sewers.

Findings from the Drainage Channel

But this drainage offers more findings. And that because some Jews hid there during the great revolt.

In the drainage channel archaeologists discovered various objects from the Second Temple period that had fallen from the street above. Among the Finds were thousands of bronze and silver coins, a golden bell similar to the ones that adorned the high priest’s robes, and a clay seal marked with the Aramaic words “Pure For God” used by Temple officials to approve produce and goods for the holy services.

Some of the finds date from the year 70 CE after the city fell to the Romans. At that time, many inhabitants fled to the channels to seek refuge, only to be discovered by the Romans and put to death. Below the broken pavement of the road, archaeologists discovered the refugees’ meager belongings: food utensils taken into hiding, coins minted during the revolt, and even a Roman sword. This drainage channel was uncovered to the north for many more dozens of meters.

Source: sign on site.

We exited the drainage at Davidson Center. Then our guide gave some explanations about this place and Trumpeting Place Cornerstone. And at that point, about one hour and twenty minutes after the tour started, it came to an end. And our guide left us to explore the Davidson Center.

Common Questions

Is the City of David and Jerusalem the same?

The city of David is considered as the original core settlement in Jerusalem. Thus at some point in history, it was the same. But over the centuries Jerusalem expanded and today the City of David is only a small part of it.

Where is the City of David today?

The City Of David is located near the Old City (Dung Gate) in Jerusalem.

Why is the city of David important?

The city of David is considered as the original core settlement in Jerusalem.

How long is Hezekiah’s Tunnel?

Hezekiah’s Tunnel is 533 meters long and a typical walk takes about 40 minutes.

How long does it take to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel?

About 40 minutes, but that depends on the number of people. So it can vary between 20 to 60 minutes.

How deep is Hezekiah’s Tunnel?

Currently, the maximum water depth is 70 cm.

Summary

We visited the City Of David several times over the years. Whether it was the standard route with the dry or wet tunnel. Or one of their tours like From the City of David to the Western Wall. Or even off-site activities like the Archaeological Experience in the Tzurim Valley National Park. And we always learned something new and enjoyed all our visits. Thus if you love archeology, history, or simply exploring, then I would suggest adding them to your todo list.

Moreover, since their tours are not that expensive, I would suggest considering joining one of them.

Have you been to the City Of David? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

For additional points of interest nearby check out Jerusalem page.

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Email me at hi@israel-in-photos.com, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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