RAMLA’S UNDERGROUND WATERWAY
Sometimes, you don’t need to look up to see great things. Ramla’s most unbelievable sights are not found in the sun-soaked streets but several meters beneath them.
Ramla, a few kilometres from Tel Aviv, is located on an old trade route between Damascus and Cairo, built on the sand in 716. Founded by caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, it was the first and only Muslim city to be built in Israel.
The mysteries about the city underground were created in 789 by caliph Harun al Rashid when a large aqueduct was built in the region, forming an unbelievable subterranean waterway. The Pool of Arches (also called the Pool of St. Helena or the Pool of Goats) is a square space measuring 9 metres high and 20 metres long. Inside, five rows of three stone pillars support the arched ceiling. The structure is so solidly built that it survived an earthquake that destroyed a large part of the city in 1068. Ramla residents used to collect water through square hatches in the ceiling.
Today, you can take a gondola through this impressive 500 m2 underground space reminiscent of a medieval cathedral. With a bit of luck, you might catch sight of the carp and goldfish in the water!