Jerusalem pilgrim road

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The road ascending toward the Temple Mount
Steps on the pilgrim road as they approach the Huldah Gates of the Temple.

The Jerusalem pilgrim road is an ancient road used by ritual processions ascending from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount via the Hulda Gates in the Southern Wall.


The ancient path was improved and paved in large, well-cut stone in the pattern of two steps followed by a long landing, followed by two more steps and another landing. The road was eight meters wide and its length from the Pool to the Temple Mount is 600 meters.[1]

According to archaeologist Ronny Reich, who leads the contemporary dig uncovering the ancient road together with archaeologist Eli Shukron, pilgrims used the Pool of Siloam as a mikveh for ritual purification before walking up the road to the Temple.[1]

Sections of the ancient road were first discovered by Prof. Frederick J. Bliss and Archibald C. Dickey of the Palestine Exploration Fund between 1894 and 1897. The find was reburied when their excavation concluded. Other sections were uncovered, then reburied, by later archaeologists, Jones in 1937 and Kathleen Kenyon in 1961–1967.[2][3]

In ancient times, in the celebration called Simchat Beit HaShoeivah, water was carried up the pilgrim road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple.

According to Israeli archaeologists, the road was found during excavations on a water channel from the Second Temple period. The road went from the ancient City of David, today the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, into what is now the Old City and passed by the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nir Hasson (14 September 2009). "Archeologists find main J'lem street from Second Temple period". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ [1] Archived June 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ David Bedien, Middle East Correspondent (September 20, 2009). "Ancient Temple Street Discovered Beneath Jerusalem,". Philadelphia Bulletin. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Gwen Ackerman (25 January 2011). "Archaeologists Discover Ancient Pilgrim Road Through Jerusalem's Old City". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 January 2014.