In the Gospel of John, chapter 5, Jesus is said to have miraculously healed a paralyzed man at the Bethesda Pool. This pool was discovered and excavated during the nineteenth century when the Church of St. Anne, located on the same grounds, was being restored. This public bath was likely used during the first century BC and first century AD.
The Romanesque church was built in 1140 by Crusaders at the site where Hannah, mother of Mary, was born. It’s considered one of the best specimens of medieval architecture in Israel and is famous for its astounding acoustics. Stick around for a few minutes and you’ll often hear hymns being sung.
The Pools of Bethesda sit near the start of the Via Dolorosa, so plan to visit the pools and church before following the Stations of the Cross.