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Tour of the Western Wall Tunnels *

The largest stone in the Wall. Photo: תמר הירדני (באדיבות הקרן למורשת הכותל)

This video provides a private guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels, Wilson’s Arch, Warren’s Gate, and The Struthion Pool – all in Jerusalem. See where Jesus actually walked!

The Western Wall Tunnels

The Western Wall Tunnels – מנהרת הכותל‎ is a tunnel adjacent to the Western Wall that exposes the full length of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. The tunnel is located under buildings of the Old City of Jerusalem. The open-air portion of the Western Wall is approximately 60 metres long. The majority of the original length is underground. The tunnel allows access to an additional 485 metres of the wall.

Kotel Tunnels Photo: תמר הירדני (באדיבות הקרן למורשת הכותל)
Kotel Tunnels
Photo: תמר הירדני (באדיבות הקרן למורשת הכותל)

The Western Wall Tunnels: Wilson Arch, Warren Gate, Struthion Pool

Wilson’s Arch

Wilson’s Arch once spanned 13 m, supporting a road that continued for 23 m and allowed access to a gate that was level with the surface of the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period.

The arch was identified in 1864 by 19th-century explorer and surveyor Charles William Wilson, for whom it is now named.

Charles Wilson, sometime between 1858 and 1861
Charles Wilson, sometime between 1858 and 1861 – Public Domain

Warren’s Gate

Warren’s Gate, described by the 19th century surveyor Charles Warren, is an ancient entrance into the Temple platform in Jerusalem which lies about 150 feet (46 m) into the Western Wall Tunnel. In the Second Temple period, the gate led to a tunnel and staircase onto the Temple Mount.

Charles Warren carbon print portrait by Herbert Rose Barraud of London
Charles Warren carbon print portrait by Herbert Rose Barraud of London – Public Domain

Rabbi Yehuda Getz, the late official Rabbi of the Western Wall, believed that the Gate represented the point west of the Wall closest to the Holy of Holies.

Rav Getz synagogue. The arch to the right belongs to Warren's Gate. Photo: David Shankbone
Rav Getz synagogue. The arch to the right belongs to Warren’s Gate.
Photo: David Shankbone

Struthion Pool

The Struthion Pool – אשווח צפרא –  Sparrow Pool in Greek is a large cuboid cistern beneath the Convent of the Sisters of Zion in the Old City of Jerusalem, built in 1st century BCE. The pool is at the foot of the rock scarp ( inner side of the moat used in fortifications) that once bore the Antonia Fortress, at the northwestern corner of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Struthion Pool 2009 Photo: תמר הירדני
Struthion Pool 2009
Photo: תמר הירדני

The vaults are rather thought to be contemporary with the nearby Ecce Homo Arch originally a triumphal arch constructed by Emperor Hadrian.

One chamber of the pool
One chamber of the pool – Public Domain

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