Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
April 11, 2006
From journal Jerusalem: Semester Abroad
May 7, 2003
Built in 688 by the Caliph Abd al-Malik, the Dome lies on the site where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven to pray with all the other saints and prophets. It is one of the holiest sites of Islam, right after Mecca and Medina, and the architects spared nothing in creating its grandeur. Modeled after the domes of the Hagia Sophia and the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock is an impressive structure. It is infinitely more bright and colorful than its counterparts, with beautiful blue and green tiles adorning the outside, as well as colorful marble and gold gilding on the inside.
The courtyard around the outside of the mosque is called Haram ash-Sharif (meaning the Noble Sanctuary) and is considered a place holy to all three monotheistic religions, but most specifically Judaism and Islam. It is not only the site of the original temple that was destroyed and the site of Muhammad’s ascension, but it is also considered to be the hill on top of which Abraham was called to sacrifice his son. The place is heavily guarded and you may experience difficulties getting in. Often times non-Muslims will not be let in, this is in reaction to numerous attempts to desecrate or destroy the mosque, so do not get too discouraged if you are denied entrance. There are two specific "tourist" gates, and if those are closed, then your chances are minimal, but if it is open, make sure to seize the opportunity.
Next to the Dome of the Rock is the al-Aqsa Mosque, slightly less grand from the outside, the al-Aqsa mosque is still a magnificent piece of architecture. Dating back to the 8th century, the mosque is a vast space that can accommodate thousands of worshipers at once. Although the minbar was burned to the ground by a crazy Australian, the mihrab is a wonderfully intricate structure and worth a look.
Whether you are standing in front of the Dome or gazing at it from across the city, it is hard not to be in awe of its magnificence and feel the religious power that emanates from it. A truly magnificent site.
From journal Jerusalem and the West Bank
, New Mexico
September 20, 2000
From journal Jerusalem: Where the Past Is Present
new york, New York
June 6, 2000
From journal Israel in Five Days