The Pool of Arches, Ramla – Visitors Guide


The Pool of the Arches, Ramla

The Pool of Arches is an ancient underground pool in the city of Ramla. And you can explore it by sailing in boats. Let’s begin exploring!

Map

Ramla is a city in central Israel. It is located about 24 km from Tel Aviv and approximately 50 km from Jerusalem. And The Pool of Arches is situated at Ha-Hagana Street 12, Ramla.

Map of the area:

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 – 18:00 (till 16:00 during the winter).
Friday and holiday eves: 8:00 – 14:00.
Saturday and holidays: 8:00 – 16:00.

Entrance Fee

Entrance Fee to The Pool of Arches, Ramla
Entrance Fee

As you can see from the photo, the entrance fee is 14 NIS per adult, and the reduced price of 12 NIS is per children, students, soldiers, handicapped, and people in groups of over 20 participants.

Also, you can buy a combined ticket for two or three attractions in the city.

Contact Information

Phone: 08-9216873

About

The most significant building left from when the Abbasid caliphs ruled in the Land of Israel is the Pool of Arches. The structure is a rare witness to the quality of construction and beauty of Muslim architecture, especially given that the Pool of Arches has survived for 1,200 years since its construction and the enormous damage caused by massive earthquakes that destroyed large parts of the town of Ramla.

The pool was fed by a central aqueduct coming from Gezer’s region and leading to the reservoirs on the compound of the White Tower. The opening where the water entered the pool was recently discovered in an archeological excavation carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authorities. The pool’s location may be due to a small spring in the vicinity.

A few stairs lead down to the pool, and there are three rows of columns built from stone, and each row has five columns which carry the curved arches on which the roof rests. Cut into the ceiling are square hatches through which previous generations drew water with pails and ropes.

The pool’s basin is almost square and measures 19.82 x 21.17 meters. In the winter, its waters overflow and are pumped off. The Pool of Arches offers rowing boats to be used by adults and children to enter the magic historical space.

Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.

Other Names

The pool was built as a roofed water reservoir for the residents of Ramla. In Christian lore, it is also called the Pool of St. Helena, based on a tradition that Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine I (who also built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem), was the one who ordered it to be dug. Also, the pool is known as The Pool of The Goats in Arabic. And indeed, there were arches in the past through which the beasts were watered.

When looking from the outside, at ground level, you can see only the top of the arches.

The Pool of Arches, Ramla
On top of the Pool of Arches

But when you go down, this is how it looks from a boat.

Inside the Pool of Arches, Ramla
Inside the Pool of Arches

Once you enter, you get a rowing boat and start sailing across The Pool of Arches. However, cruising a big word, as the whole place is not significant. Nonetheless, it is a unique experience.

The Pool of Arches from the most distant corner
The Pool of Arches from the most distant corner

The pool is about one meter deep.

Ramla World City Festival

After about 10-15 minutes, you are asked to return the boat.

On our way out, I photographed the inscription on the wall near the entrance to The Pool of Arches.

The inscription at The Pool of Arches, Ramla
The inscription at The Pool of Arches

The underground water reservoir was built in 789 AD when the famous Caliph Harun al Rashid ruled from Baghdad. The year of its foundation is chipped into the plaster of the pool’s wall, saying, “In the name of Allah and with Allah’s blessing, the agent of the Emir of the faithful ordered construction, may Allah lengthen his days, in the month of Haja in the year one hundred and seventy-two.”

Near the entrance to The Pool of Arches, you can find remains of a 900 years old water fountain.

Remains of 900 years old water fountain
Remains of 900 years old water fountain

Summary

The Pool of Arches is a unique place. But it is not a big site. Therefore I would suggest combining a visit to the Pool of Arches with other attractions in Ramla. Moreover, not many people can enter inside. Thus you can encounter a long line. And again, instead of waiting, you can visit other places in Ramla. For a full guide to attractions in the city, see Ramla.

Have you ever been to the Pool of Arches? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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

Stay Tuned!

   

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 [email protected], and I will do my best to answer your questions.

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