A Biblical site where Jesus Christ is said to have healed a blind man has been opened to the public for the first time in 2000 years, local authorities have confirmed.
"The Pool of Siloam in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem is a site of historic, national and international significance," said Jerusalem's mayor Moshe Lion. "After many years of anticipation, we will soon merit being able to uncover this important site and make it accessible to the millions of visitors visiting Jerusalem each year."
The news was celebrated by organizations including the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority, and the City of David Foundation, all of whom have worked to have the site reopened to the public.
"The Pool of Siloam's excavation is highly significant to Christians around the world," American Pastor John Hagee, the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, told Fox News. "It was at this site that Jesus healed the blind man. And it is at this site that, 2,000 years ago, Jewish pilgrims cleansed themselves prior to entering the Second Temple."
The pool is located in the Jerusalem Walls National Park, with Hagee describing it as "among the most inspiring archeological affirmations of the Bible." Its construction dates back some 2,700 years during the reign of King Hezekia as described in the Bible in the Book of Kings II, 20:20.
"Christians are deeply blessed by the City of David's work and Israel’s enduring commitment to ensuring religious freedom to all who visit and live in the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem – the undivided capital of Israel," Hagee continued.
The site was discovered by accident back in 2004 by workmen who were mending a broken pipe in a potato field. Three years ago, local authorities green-lighted a $100 million project to excavate it from beneath a Palestinian neighborhood. Visitors will now be allowed to visit part of the site, although the process of fully excavating the pool will take a number of years.