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“Not much to see here”

Zedekiah's Cave (Solomon's Quarries)
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$395.00*
and up
Bethlehem Private Guided Half Day Tour from...
Ranked #88 of 257 things to do in Jerusalem
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Owner description: Dating back nearly 2,000 years, this quarry is one of the largest found in Israel.
Reviewed December 8, 2014

There is so much to do in Jerusalem that unless you have a particular passion for caves, I would skip this tourist sight. The caves go back to the time of King Solomon, and are the largest manmade caves in Israel. Even so, I didn't spend more than 10 minutes exploring these caves. There are better things to do.

2  Thank 9_Months_A_Nomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"damascus gate"
in 9 reviews
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in 19 reviews
"temple"
in 7 reviews
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22 - 26 of 69 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2014

Jerusalem is so packed with interesting and historic sites that I do wonder if the authorities get a bit blasé about them.

Zedekiah's Cave is the perfect example of of a genuinely awesome attraction that needs a bit more TLC from those who run it. The caves are amazing and are said to have provided Herod with the raw materials for the renovation of the Temple, including the Western Wall. They are mentioned by the historian Flavius Josephus and were hidden for more than 300 years until their rediscovery by an American missionary.

In my book, that's a rich history but all we get by way of explanation are a few ageing signs that don't give much by way of detail. The interior is very quiet (save the sounds of dripping water) huge and very deep but is not well-cared for - in one of the smaller caves for examples, I saw a bunch of plastic chairs just left out. That's just lazy and highlights a lack of care for what could be a significant attraction.

1  Thank DawlishRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014 via mobile

Apparently this place started as natural cave but then it was used as a quarry ad the quarrymen went down and down and down under the old city extracting huge blocks of stone for the temple. It is well lit and amazingly atmospheric - worth a visit for those with an inquisitive mind - but wear sturdy shows - the ground level is very uneven and it is damp and sometimes slippery.

Thank Neil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

A rarely visited feature of the Jerusalem scene, this attraction is cheap to enter and will blow your mind Just east of the Damascus Gate there is an innocuous hole in the huge walls to enter. You are entering a quarry, lost for millenium, until 150 yrs ago. Starting as a small cave entrance perhaps 3,000 yr ago, it became the source for Jerusalem Stone which fathered the temples and homes of the inner city.

Using merely a hammer and chisel, this place must have provided a zillion tons of material for the builders. Questions - how did they work the quarry? how did they light and air the quarry? how did they retrieve heavy blocks from the far reaches of the underground quarry? How did they stabilize the Arab section above? Some answers apparently involve grooving the stone, then placing a wood piece in the groove and wetting the wood to expand. Was there a water table?

The deep recesses of the mine can take a bit of hiking, but it is worth it. Imagine being there without any overhead lighting? 5 acres and five city blocks inside the old city!

You cannot avoid thinking what life was about after visiting these huge underground man-made spaces.

5  Thank steveplotkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2014

Should you consider visiting the Zedekiah's Cave and would like to get your money's worth, either do your own research on the significance of the place or try to see if they offer tours or come with a tour guide (admission fee 16 NIS). In one of the caves, the Masons held their meeting (an attraction factor for some).

Although there are posted signs, without background stories and facts its just a big hole in the ground and a cool reprieve from the heat. Otherwise, the only impressive things about it is that it still stands considering the the 1/2 million ton weight of the city above it.

Should you decide to visit, on a day with few other visitors, note the fading traffic noise and the sound of water droplets as you descend into the cave and are transferred into a different historical period. As you continue your descent, notice the section where the paths divide on your left - turn around and notice an old staircase leading someplace in the sectioned off part. TIP: bring a flashlight as the cave is only lighted in areas open to visitors but it is also cool to see whats in other parts that are otherwise dark. When you reach the "tears fall" pause by it for 30 seconds to absorb the significance of the place or for a moment of quiet contemplation.

NOTE: There is a combo ticket that includes the Caves, Ramparts Walk or the Jerusalem City Walls (definitely recommended) and a few other attractions... definitely sold at the entrance to the Ramparts Walk which makes it a good deal if you want to see as much as you can.

5  Thank kitty567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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