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Hezekiah's Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel)
Hezekiah's Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel)

Hezekiah's Tunnel (Siloam Tunnel)

Derech HaShiloah, Jerusalem

The Basics

Hezekiah's Tunnel is a highlight on many religious and historic tours of Jerusalem, as it combines the city’s rich history with a unique adventure. Guided walking tours lead you through the narrow 1,750-foot-long (533-meter-long) tunnel from Gihon Springs to the Pool of Siloam, while telling the story of the tunnel’s creation and the role it played in the city’s tumultuous past.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lovers of adventure and history won't want to miss a walk through the dark, water-filled channel.

  • There's an alternate dry, lit route through the tunnel, but as it's narrow with low ceilings, it's not advised for those with claustrophobia.

  • For the wet route, bring water shoes and a flashlight, and be prepared to walk through water that may rise above the knees.

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How to Get There

The entrance to the tunnel is within the City of David, which is bordered by the Old City of Jerusalem, Temple Mount, and Kidron Valley. You can reach the tunnel on foot from the Old City’s Dung Gate entrance, or join a walking tour that travels through Hezekiah's Tunnel alongside other historic sites in the City of David.

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When to Get There

The chilly water temperature in the tunnel provides a refreshing reprieve from the city’s heat in warm months and leads many to opt for the dry route in winter. In summer, the City of David is open from early morning through evening Sunday–Thursday, and it closes midafternoon on Fridays. It closes several hours earlier in the winter. Day of tickets to enter the tunnel can be purchased up until two hours before close.

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The Story of Hezekiah's Tunnel

Biblical stories say Hezekiah's Tunnel was built in 701 BC to protect Jerusalem’s water source from an impending invasion. The hand-carved tunnel was dug by two teams who started on either end but maintained a natural gradient through the bedrock and met in the middle. The tunnel then channeled water from Gihon Springs, located in the Kidron Valley, to the protected Pool of Siloam within the City of David.

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