I’m pretty sure I have posted these photos before, but this time I am posting them for today’s Blue Square entry. Dome of the Rock is such a beautiful building, known mostly for its golden dome that stands out among the whitish buildings of Jerusalem’s skyline. However, close up, it is covered with Arabic mosaic tile designs.
Disappointing was the fact that we could not enter this building, which is a sacred site for the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Inside the building is a rock on which Abraham allegedly stood, ready to slay his son Isaac as a fulfillment of God’s test, but God stopped him. It is also allegedly where Adam, and later Cain and Abel, offered sacrifices to God. We cannot enter because only Muslims are allowed inside. The building is actually owned by the King of Jordan, but Jerusalem’s Muslims maintain and care for it. It is part of a complex of buildings on Temple Mount, the other being the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Dome of the Rock is the first monument we saw on our tour, in January 2019, of Old Jerusalem beginning at Temple Mount, the square where the First and Second Temples once stood. All that remains of the Second Temple (which was destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish revolt in 70 AD) is the Western Wall, known also as the “Wailing Wall.”
Blue predominates in the mosaics of Dome of the Rock’s façades. A stripe of Arabic writing, white on blue, runs around the entire exterior walls of the building. Underneath are a number of different designs, including more Arabic writing, as can be seen in this close-up photo of one section. Each of the arched sections has a different pattern.
More information about Dome of the Rock can be found at Dome of the Rock in New World Encyclopedia online.
More information about the Second Temple and its destruction can be found at The Destruction of the Second Holy Temple: A Historical Overview.