Month: <span>October 2013</span>
Month: October 2013

DOME OF THE ROCK IN JERUSALEM

DOME OF THE ROCK IN JERUSALEM

The Dome of the Rock is a 7th-century edifice located in Jerusalem.

It enshrines the rock from which Muḥammad is said to have ascended to heaven.

Sometimes erroneously called the Mosque of Umar, from a tradition that it was built by Caliph Umar I, the Dome of the Rock was actually built by Caliph Abd al-Malik between 687 and 691.

The first domed shrine to be built, the Dome of the Rock is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

The octagonal plan and the rotunda dome of wood are of Byzantine design. The Persian tiles on the exterior and the marble slabs that decorate the interior were added by Suleiman I in 1561.

The Dome of the Rock is located on a rocky outcrop known as Mount Moriah, where, according to Jewish belief, Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. The inscriptions inside the building glorify Islam as the final true revelation and culmination of the faiths of Judaism and Christianity. The building is actually not a mosque but a ciborium, erected over a sacred site.

According to later Islamic tradition, the Rock (al-Sakhra) in the midst of the building was the spot from which Mohammed ascended to heaven after his miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem on the winged steed al-Buraq.

A tradition states that by building the dome, Abd al-Malik was attempting to transfer the Islamic hajj to Jerusalem from Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The 60-foot-diameter, timber-framed double dome, covered internally with colored and gilded stucco and originally roofed with lead covered in gold, rises 35 meters over the holy rock.

It is carried on a tall drum, originally faced with glass mosaics, which rests on a circular arcade of 12 marble columns, set in threes between four large rectangular piers. At the top of the drum, 16 colored glass windows light the central space. Inside and outside, the Dome of the Rock was enriched with marble columns and facings and floral mosaic patterns.

During the Crusades, the Dome of the Rock was commandeered as a Christian shrine before returning to Islamic hands. Many medieval people believed it to be the famous Temple of King Solomon.

Today, it is at the very core of a bitter dispute between Palestinians and Israelis. Although sometimes referred to as the Mosque of Omar, the Dome of the Rock is in fact not a mosque. Nevertheless, as the oldest extant Islamic monument, it served as a model for architecture and other artistic endeavors across three continents for a millennium.

Western Wall in Jerusalem

The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel (Hebrew: About this sound הַכֹּתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי (help·info), translit.: HaKotel HaMa’aravi; Ashkenazic pronunciation: Kosel; Arabic: حائط البراق‎, translit.: Ḥā’iṭ Al-Burāq, translat.: The Buraq Wall) is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, commonly believed to have been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, but recent excavations indicate that the works were not finished during Herod’s lifetime. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards. The Western Wall refers not only to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, but also to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount, such as the Little Western Wall–a 25 ft (8 m) section in the Muslim Quarter.

It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries; the earliest source mentioning Jewish attachment to the site dates back to the 4th century. From the mid-19th century onwards, attempts to purchase rights to the wall and its immediate area were made by various Jews, but none was successful. With the rise of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century, the wall became a source of friction between the Jewish community and the Muslim religious leadership, who were worried that the wall was being used to further Jewish nationalistic claims to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. Outbreaks of violence at the foot of the wall became commonplace and an international commission was convened in 1930 to determine the rights and claims of Muslims and Jews in connection with the wall. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the wall came under Jordanian control and Jews were barred from the site for 19 years until Israel captured the Old City in 1967 and three days later bulldozed the adjacent 770 year old Moroccan Quarter.[1]

The Mount of Olives – Jerusalem

“Mount Olivet” redirects here. For other uses, see Mount Olivet (disambiguation).

The Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet (Hebrew: הַר הַזֵּיתִים, Har HaZeitim; Arabic: جبل الزيتون, الطور‎, Jabal az-Zaytūn, Aț-Țūr) is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to the Jerusalem’s Old City.[1] It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the necropolis of the ancient Judean kingdom.[2] The Mount is central to Jewish tradition since it has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves.[3] Several key events in the life of Jesus as related in the Gospels took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Book of Acts it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the Mount has been a site of Christian worship since ancient times and is today a major site of Christian pilgrimage for Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians.

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