In the old city of Jerusalem, Israel. This was my second visit to the Dome of the Rock. In 1996 I was allowed inside to view the magnificent interior. Unfortunately, this time Christians were not allowed inside this Muslim site.
Beautiful mosiacs cover the building, which is topped with a gleaming golden dome.
The most famous Islamic site in Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah). An impressive and beautiful edifice, the Dome of the Rock can be seen from all over Jerusalem. It is the crowning glory of the Haram es-Sharif (“Noble Sanctuary”), or Temple Mount.
The Dome of the Rock is not a mosque, but a Muslim shrine. Like the Ka’ba in Mecca, it is built over a sacred stone. This stone is believed to be the place from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven during his Night Journey to heaven.
The Dome of the Rock is the oldest Islamic monument that stands today and certainly one of the most beautiful. It also boasts the oldest surviving mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca) in the world. Built from 688-691.
The sacred rock over which the Dome of the Rock is built was considered holy before the arrival of Islam. Jews believed, and still believe, the rock to be the very place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac (an event which Muslims place in Mecca). In addition, the Dome of the Rock (or the adjacent Dome of the Chain) is believed by many to stand directly over the site of the Holy of Holies of both Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple.