It might be darker and damper than the canals of Venice, but at least you can avoid the crowds on this boat ride. The “Pool of Arches” in Ramla, Israel, an underground roofed water reservoir dating back to the eighth century, is open to the public.
Despite earthquake damage to other parts of Ramla during the past 1,200 years, the “Pool of Arches” is still in excellent condition. According to the pool’s website, the structure stands as “a rare witness to the quality of construction and beauty of Muslim architecture.”
To take the journey through the underground arches, visitors must descend a staircase to one of the pool’s row boats. The pool itself is 65 feet by 69 feet, contains 15 columns with curved arches that support the roof square, and has an inscription from the reservoir’s construction in 789 AD. Cut into the roof are square hatches where people used to lower buckets to collect water. The reservoir also goes by the Arabic name “Pool of Goats,” for the goats that used to drink from it.
The reservoir is open Sunday to Friday, and it costs about $3 for a guided tour.