Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Pool of the Towers / Hezekiah's Pool

The post yesterday told of my first-ever visit to the Petra Hostel.
On the roof one woman was sitting on a mat and another was living in a tent behind her line of laundry.
You probably recognize the Citadel or Tower of David across the street.

Right behind the hostel was this giant pool, surrounded by residential houses.
I was so excited to see it! I had read of its existence but could never get a view of it.

It looks like a dump now, but what a history it has!
Two thousand years ago King Herod and the Romans built aqueducts and a system of pools and cisterns in order to enlarge the water supply of Jerusalem.
The pool shown in the photos above was fed by an aqueduct from the Mamilla Pool, as explained in an earlier post.
This huge interior rock-cut pool is today called, in Arabic, "Ḥammâm el Batrak" (The Patriarch's Pool).
Some call it, perhaps erroneously, Hezekiah's Pool.
Josephus called it the Amygdalon pool, possibly a corruption of the Hebrew Ha-Migdalon, meaning the Pool of the Tower(s).
UPDATE!   What a difference two years can make!   See Tom Powers' blog report of the first-ever concert inside the cleaned-up pool!!


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

This is very interesting, Dina.

Cloudia said...

wow. history in stone & story all around you, Dina!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



VP said...

When I first discovered this place I was quite disppointed...

Kay said...

I would have looked at this and not had a clue what it was. That's amazing! Happy Thanksgiving, Dina.

Rob Siemann said...

How interesting! I stayed at the Petra for a little while, but I don't think I ever went to the roof

Unknown said...

Great story behind this!