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Muslim Kubbet es Sakrah - Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem, Israel, Dome of the Rock far view

This Islamic shrine on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is also called the Dome of the Rock, Mosque of Omar or Qubbat Sachra called ash. The octagonal building is characterized by its magnificent golden dome and was built in Byzantine style with Persian influences. The building, contrary to popular belief is not a mosque. The Dome of the Rock serves as a pilgrimage and memorial.

The Dome of the Rock stands on Mount Moriah in the old part of Jerusalem. This mountain was better known as the Temple Mount since the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967. The Dome was finished in 691 and is part of a larger complex where the Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs. The complex is called Al-Harem Ash-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary and it stretches over around 14 acres of ancient Jerusalem.

Abd ad-Malik who built the Dome, gave the sanctuary a height of nearly 35 meters. The dome has a diameter of 20 meters and was originally made of gold. Later the gold subsequently been replaced by copper and aluminum. The gold that you see today is a shining layer of gold leaf that is mounted on the aluminum. In the center of the octagonal base, the dome is supported by four large pillars and twelve slender columns. The roof between the dome and the octagonal outer wall had to wear an extra boost. Between the octagon of columns, which carry the dome and the octagonal outer wall, an additional eight octagon of columns and sixteen columns, which caused occur two ambulacra.

Inside the shrine, right under the dome, is a rock of twelve to five meters which is about two meters above the earth. This rock has a special significance for different religions. Judaism sees the rock as the place where Abraham would sacrifice his son Isaac. In addition the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon's temple is situated on the rock. In the Islamic faith is the rock where the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad with the angel Gabriel took place.

Although Mecca the holiest city of Islam, Abd al-Malik was that Jerusalem is the function of important pilgrimage site to take over. He eventually made sure that the processions around the Kaaba in Mecca spread to Jerusalem, where Muslims traveled and perform ritual circumambulation of the rock.

The bottom half of the octagonal building on the outside decorated with marble. The upper part of the eight walls is covered with multicolored Persian mosaic decoration. The original mosaics on the outside, however, were the 16 century by Persian tiles, which were donated by Suleyman the Magnificent. The current coating consists of the Turkish city of Iznik tiles. This made around 1960 tiles that are exact copies of those from the 16 century. The tiles are among other Qur'anic texts on the ascension of Muhammad. The mosaics in the interior of the mosque are recognized as plant motifs. Images of people and animals are not shown to Islamic custom in religious buildings.

The Dome of the Rock is visited thanks to its great significance for different religions and with its golden dome from any part of Jerusalem to see.