When the city was defending itself from the approaching Assyrian army in the 8th century bce, King Hezekiah decided to protect the water by diverting its flow deep into the city with an impressive tunnel system. "Hezekiah also plugged the upper watercourse of the Gihon waters and brought it straight down to the west side of the City of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works." (Chronicles II, 32:30)
This engineering feat was accomplished by digging a 1,750-foot (533 meter) tunnel into the mountain. An ancient stone carving found near the entrance describes this incredible operation.
Today, trekking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel in knee-high water is a highlight for visitors to Jerusalem.