Solomon’s Pools (Beraik Solayman), are located immediately to the south of al-Khader and about 5 km southwest of Bethlehem.
The history of the pools goes back to the early Roman period in Palestine. They were built to supply Jerusalem and King Herod’s palace at Herodion with water. The pools are named after the Biblical King Solomon, stemming from a legend of Solomon using the waters and gardens as in Ecclesiastes 2.6, where the king is recorded as saying “I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees”.
Murad or Burak Castle (Castle of the Pools) is a small Turkish Ottoman fortress, built by the Suleiman the Magnificient in 1617 to defend the water source kept in the pools and the commercial caravans between Jerusalem and Hebron. The castle was recently renovated and opened to the visitors. Check more information about the project on: www.solomonpools.com
The castle features Murad Castle Museum, which has purchased one of the largest ethnographic collections of Palestinian history and culture. Check more info: here.
How to get there?
If you wish to get to Solomon’s Pools area from Bethlehem, simply take the service taxi (orange minibus for 7 persons) from Bethlehem’s Central Station, located in the lowest floor of the Bethlehem City Mall, to the direction of Hebron. While driving out from Bethlehem, you are going to pass the St. George Gate. Some meters later the taxi is going to turn left and there you are going to see the road leading to Artas, where you could get off. Enter the road and start to follow the walk described in the book, which is quite easy and will take you around 2 hours (both ways).