Jerusalem: 'The Hasmonean Aquaduct'

Those who visit Jerusalem should not skip one of the most impressive ancient landmarks: 'The Hasmonean Aquaduct.' The story of this touchy recent discovery has been told, recently, by Osi Efrani in the prestigious semi-scholarly publication "Havma" (Tel Aviv Winter 2000) which editor is Yossi Ahimeir. This aquaduct, or water pipe, is essentially a tunnel which was built by the Hasmoneans. It solved Jerusalem's water supply, all the way to the second temple.

Scholars such as Charles Veren (1867) and others were aware of the existence of this tunnel but it was re-discovered in 1985. Later the tunnel turned into a tourist attraction. It is certainly a unique experience to the visitors who feel the ancient atmosphere. They feel a unique link, an emotional linkage to our past, our history. The entrance to this tunnel is from the north side of the 'Kotel' (The Wailing Wall). It should be noted that Herod used the tunnel for his buildings in the area.

The visitor can learn about the issue of water and how the ancient engineers tried to solve the problem of construction as well as they tried to purify the water. Inside the tunnel you can see rocks which were part of the wall which surrounded the second temple. Some rocks smell from the fire that the Romans set in 67 A.D. when destroying Jerusalem. There is also a model of the Second Temple. The exit of the temple is located near the 'Gate of Lions.'

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