- Location: The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel
- Attraction Type: Religious Shrine
- Significance: Oldest Islamic monument and famous religious site in Islam
- Best Time to Visit: Months of January and February
- Visiting Hours: 8:30 to 11am from Sundays to Thursdays (Temple Mount)
- How to Reach:Buses and taxis
- Nearest International Airport: Ben Gurion International airport at Tel Aviv
If visiting holy sites give you peace and pleasure, then take a tour to Jerusalem to see the Dome of the Rock. This religious shrine is considered to be the ancient Islamic monument and a masterpiece of art and architecture. No doubt, the landmark embodies the influence of Islamic architecture. But if noticed from close quarters, you will realize that this holy shrine is something more than the exemplary of Islamic designs and patterns. Many believe that rather than being an archetypical mosque, the monument symbolizes its historical context. In Arabic terms, the site is referred to as the Qubbat as-Sakhra.
History of the Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock has a long history associated with it. It is held that at the time of the crusade, the Dome of the Rock was gifted to the Augustinians. The Augustinians metamorphosed it into a church. The Knights Templar maintained that the Dome of the Rock was the temple site of Solomon. For this, they established their headquarters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was located near the Dome site. The Knights Templar named the Dome of the Rock as the ‘Templum Domini’. Later, the site was incorporated in the official stamps of the Order’s Grand Masters. The site soon became the quintessential model of architecture for the churches developed by Templar all over the Europe.
Religious Significance of the Dome of the Rock
There are many religious beliefs associated with the Dome of the Rock. The followers of Islam believe that rock is the site from where Muhammad went to heaven in the company of the angel Gabriel. The followers of Judaism consider the location of the stone to be the most sacred spot on earth. Similarly, there are other popular myths also related to this site.
Architectural Significance of the Dome of the Rock
The fine exteriors and interiors of the Dome of the Rock are something to relish. The dome has been designed after the Byzantine architectural patterns. It is believed that about 100,000 gold dinar coins had been melted to mould the exteriors of the dome. Many hold, at that point of time, the gold covering on the exteriors used to glitter so strongly that no one could look at it straightly. The lavish interiors of the dome features faience, mosaic, and marble. At some places, you will also be able to see Qur’anic inscriptions.
Things to do near the Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is a beautiful landmark. Through an entry to this site is not allowed, but you can take a tour of the complex of the Temple Mount where the dome is situated. Click photographs of this holy site and store them. You can bask in the beauty of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic Museum from outside. These are some of the other famous tourist attractions in Jerusalem which are worth visiting.