Sanhedrin Park is a historical site from the days of the second temple which is relatively unknown to the public. The park, located in northern Jerusalem next to the Sanhedriah neighborhood, houses twenty burial caves from the Roman period.
In Jewish tradition, the leaders of the Sanhedrin, the judicial body during and shortly after the Second Temple period, are believed to be buried there. Since the middle ages, Jews have come to the park to visit the tombs and pray. At the end of the Ottoman period and the beginning of the British mandate, Jews purchased the lands in an attempt to protect the site’s sanctity.
The fanciest cave in Sanhedrin Park apparently belongs to the Emidah family, who lived in Jerusalem during Herod’s rule. At the front of the cave there is a carved stone fence with benches behind it. On the face of the cave, shapes of plants such as vines and grapes are etched into the stone. Inside the cave there are a number of tombs on various levels. There are stairs that lead from the cave to another group of burial caves.
Another group of tombs is located at the south side of the park, and it is decorated with elegantly styled pillars. In still another cave, there are burial tombs decorated with rose embossments.