Jerusalem is filled with so many beautiful and historic places that after a week of exploring this city, I still hadn’t seen everything I wanted to see. Early morning I met up with one of the other hostel ocupants, the Canadian girl, Bobbi who went with me to the Dome of Rock where Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac. The Muslims built a beautiful mosque covering this rock. The whole mosque is covered in mosaic and the dome is actually covered in gold leaf.
We stood in line for over an hour before finally getting in, you can only enter between 12:30pm and 13:30 and at 13:30 they actually chased us out of the complex.
Until the mid-nineteenth century, non-Muslims were not permitted in the area. Since 1967, non-Muslims have been permitted limited access, however non-Muslims are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, or carry any form of religious artifact or anything with Hebrew letters. The Israeli police help enforce this.
The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE. The site’s significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart. The Dome of the Rock is located at the visual center of a platform known as the Temple Mount. It was constructed on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
The structure is basically octagonal. It comprises a wooden dome, approximately 20 m in diameter, which is mounted on an elevated drum consisting of a circle of 16 piers and columns. Surrounding this circle is an octagonal arcade of 24 piers and columns. The outer side walls are made of porcelain and mirror the octagonal design. They each measure approximately 18 m wide and 11 m high. Both the dome and the exterior walls contain many windows.
I do wonder what this mosqye looks like inside, unfortunately we were not allowed inside, which is a shame.