Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:
Close to Al-Khadr’s Gate, to the left of the road, are three pools, each higher than the next one. Water comes to them from the rains collected from the lands and mountains surrounding them. The waters used to be purified and ran in a canal to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Opposite the first highest pool towards the north is an old delapidated Turkish fortress. It was built by the Turkish sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent in 1662 (who also built Jerusalem’s walls), in order to protect the commercial caravans between Jerusalem and Hebron, which were targeted by thieves and vagabonds.
King Solomon the Wise, as mentioned in the Bible, constructed these pools for his wives, reportedly a thousand in number, so that they could bath there.
Source: Issa Massou, Religious stories from Bethlehem (Bethlehem University Journal).