For over two thousand years, Solomon Pools in the south of Bethlehem has been steeped in legend. So great in size and importance were these three stone water basins, cut in the rock built during the reign of King Herod in the times of the Romans, that they became associated with the History of Jerusalem. The pools hold about 450,000 cubic meter of water. They are constructed in steps, each six meters above the next, to enable to water to be carried as far as Jerusalem by sheer force of gravity.
Near the pools are the remains of Qal’at al Burak (castle of the pools) also known as Qal’at Murad. The castle was built by the Turkish Sultan Murad in the 17th century for the protection of the water source and maintained this role throughout the centuries. The castle and the pools are set in a beautiful grove of pine and cypress trees.
The Pools, the aqueduct and the once-busy caravanserai have fallen silent. The pleasant stillness of Solomon Pools, nestled between two historical villages; Alkhader which houses the Greek Monastery of St. George and Artas with its beautiful Catholic Monastery “Daughters of St. Mary of “Hortus Conclusus”, have long been a favorite place to visit as one of the great “hidden treasures” of Bethlehem.
Now, at long last, visitors to Bethlehem can experience Solomon Pools as never before! Community civic and business leaders in partnership with the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) have joined together to provide Bethlehem’s first-ever tourist Resort at Solomon Pools. Just fifteen minutes from Nativity Church and less than 25 minutes from Jerusalem’s Old City, Solomon Pools is an excellent addition to your list of must-see places while in Bethlehem.