April 30, 2017     4 Iyyar 5777
Places To Tour in Israel - Off the Beaten Trail
   The Biyar Aqueduct

Tour write-up by Chaim Friedman from LeChaimTours.  www.LeChaimTours.com

The Biyar Aqueduct View

The Biyar Aqueduct

Bring with you a flashlight, water shoes, a small towel, and a change of clothing.  You will get wet and dirty.  Do not take children (or adults) who are claustrophobic. They can relax outside in the shaded areas.

Call the Kfar Etzion Field School (02) 993-5133 for opening hours and fees.

Directions:  Take Route 60 south from Jerusalem toward Gush Eztion.  After you pass the Elazar Junction, the road will curve to the right. Immediately past the curve there is an exit with a sign for the Biyar Aqueduct (and the Path of the Patriarchs – the eastern entrance to the Derech Avot).  Park on the left side adjacent to the park.  Walk into the park and go through the tunnel under the road. At the other side make a left turn. In a few minutes you will be at the aqueduct entrance.

Recently the site has been renovated and is now well maintained.  There is an admission fee. Bathrooms and snack bar on site.

During the second temple period there was a need for more water for the city of Jerusalem. Water from the Gihon Spring was not sufficient. It was decided to take water from springs in the Hebron hills and channel the water to Jerusalem via aqueducts and tunnels using only the force of gravity.  Two aqueducts, the Biyar and Arrub, were constructed from the Hebron Hills bringing water to the Solomon’s Pools near Bet Lechem. From there two aqueducts went towards Jerusalem. One brought water to the Jaffa Gate area, and the other one to the Temple Mount.  The aqueducts are an amazing engineering feat. The slope of the 39 kilometer long Arrub aqueduct averaged one meter per kilometer.

You will be going down into the Biyar Spring and aqueduct system. At the bottom of the steps you have two ways to go. You can go towards the right (south) and wiggle your way through water and mud towards the spring source (returning the same way).  Most people will only do the main route north (under the staircase) and you will “follow the leader” through the 2000 year old water channel. Don’t forget to use the flashlight and look at the walls and ceiling of this amazing tunnel. The water level is regulated and its deepest point should not be more that waist high.  After 15-20 minutes (depending on people traffic) you will climb up a ladder to and return to the 21st century.

Your family will enjoy this underground water tunnel. Perfect for a hot summer day!
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