Directions and Information About Solomon Pools
Solomon Pools is located in the city of Artas at the southern border of Bethlehem. Less than ten minutes from Nativity Church in Bethlehem and twenty minutes from Jerusalem’s Old City in good traffic, Solomon Pools is located right off the main thoroughfare from the old Hebron-Jerusalem road. From downtown Bethlehem, take a bus, service taxi or private cab to Solomon Pools through Doha Municipality. (Don’t worry, just say “Solomon Pools” if the driver doesn’t speak English.) A bus or a service taxi will drop you off at the service road leading to Solomon Pools, and from there it’s a few minute’s walk. A private taxi will take you to the entrance of the Pools at a cost of no more than 30 Shekels from any location in Bethlehem. We’ll be on the left-hand side as your ride is heading towards Hebron.
From Jerusalem or Hebron, take Route 60 to the Al-Khader turnoff. Past the roundabout, it’s a three-minute drive until you see the turn-off on your right hand side. While in the area, here are some local sites that may be of interest to you:
The Church of the Nativity, the place of the birth of Jesus Christ, is open every day from the early morning to late afternoon, with the exception of the annual cleaning on December 27th. You can also visit the Milk Grotto, the Bethlehem Peace Center, the Maha Saca Cultural Center for Palestinian Heritage, or just walk through the Old City. Rachel’s Tomb is also available to be visited from the Jerusalem side of Bethlehem.
Known as the Tuscany of Palestine, Beit Jala is a historic Christian village that overlooks Bethlehem from the west. The Church of Saint Nicholas is built around the cave where the beloved saint stayed on pilgrimage, and nearby Cremisan Monastery is a winery run by the Salesian Brotherhood and produces an excellent vintage. Visits to the church and the monastery can be arranged in advance through tour guides or hotels. It’s also well worth it to tour the beautiful valley of West Bethlehem to take in the natural beauty.
Beit Sahour and East Bethlehem
Shepherd’s Field, the place where angels announced the birth of Jesus to local shepherds, is to be found at two separate monasteries, one managed by the Franciscan Brotherhood of the Catholic Church and the other by the Greek Orthodox. Nearby Mar Theodosius monastery is a fascinating Byzantine place of worship that includes the cave where the Wise Men slept after giving their gifts to the Holy Family, but were warned (again by angels) to return to their lands through another route. Farther out in the desert is Mar Sabba Monastery, a functioning aesthetic monastic community that has built their churches and cells out of the side of a steep valley. Last but not least, there is Herodian, the hilltop palace that King Herod built. Visitors to these sites are welcome during daytime hours, but only men are allowed inside the monastery grounds of Mar Sabba.
Artas and AlKhader
While in our neighborhood, you can also visit the beautiful Catholic monastery of the Virgin Mary known as Hortus Conclusus (meaning, Enclosed Garden) and see numerous Byzantine ruins. Neighboring Al Khader also is the home of the legendary Saint George who slew the dragon. Visitors can check with their tour guides or your hotel to arrange a visit. Parking for buses and cars is available. We’re open from 07:00 to 24:00.