Legend has it that during the Babylonian siege on Jerusalem, Zedekiah, the king of Judea, escaped through this cave to Jericho. According to Muslim tradition, Korah and his followers were swallowed up by the earth in this cave, as a punishment for Korah`s attempt to revolt against Moses. Another legend has it that King Solomon here quarried the hewn stones used to build the First Temple.
Zedekiah`s cave, with its formidable dimensions and length of 225 meters, served as an ancient quarry. Researchers believe that stones were initially quarried here during the First Temple period. Here the stone known by the Arab name "Malika" was quarried; a superb building stone used to build the luxurious buildings of Jerusalem. Yosef Ben-Matityahu mentions this cave in his description of the third wall of Jerusalem, and calls it "The Kings Quarries". During the 20th century, Stones were hewn from this cave to build the clock tower constructed above Jaffa Gate. This tower was destroyed during the Mandate period.
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