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  1. The dome of rock was made in 688 AD and finished in 691 AD in Jerusalem, Israel. The Dome of the Rock was built by the Umayyad caliph Abd Ali-Malik to commemorate Muhammad's ascension into heaven. The Dome of the Rock is a Shrine.

    • A Glorious Mystery
    • The Rock in The Dome of The Rock
    • Mosaics
    • A Reference to Local Churches
    • The Inscription

    One of the most iconic images of the Middle East is undoubtedly the Dome of the Rock shimmering in the setting sun of Jerusalem. Sitting atop the Haram al-Sharif, the highest point in old Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock’s golden-color Dome and Turkish Faience tiles dominates the cityscape of Old Jerusalem and in the 7th century served as a testament to the power of the new faith of Islam. The Dome of the Rock is one of the earliest surviving buildings from the Islamic world. This remarkable building is not a mosque, as is commonly assumed and scholars still debate its original function and meaning. Between the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 and 691/2, when the Dome of the Rock was completed, there was intermittent warfare in Arabia and Holy Land around Jerusalem. The first Arab armies who emerged from the Arabian peninsula were focused on conquering and establishing an empire—not building. The Dome of the Rock was one of the first Islamic buildings ever constructed. It was bui...

    At the center of the Dome of the Rock sits a large rock, which is believed to be the location where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Ismail (Isaac in the Judeo/Christian tradition). Today, Muslims believe that the Rock commemorates the night journey of Muhammad. One night the Angel Gabriel came to Muhammad while he slept near the Kaaba in Mecca and took him to al-Masjid al-Aqsa (the farthest mosque) in Jerusalem. From the Rock, Muhammad journeyed to heaven, where he met other prophets, such as Moses and Christ, witnessed paradise and hell and finally saw God enthroned and circumambulated by angels. The Rock is enclosed by two ambulatories (in this case the aisles that circle the rock) and an octagonal exterior wall. The central colonnade (row of columns) was composed of four piers and twelve columns supporting a rounded drum that transitions into the two-layered dome more than 20 meters in diameter. The colonnades are clad in marble on their lower registers, and their upper...

    Wall and ceiling mosaics became very popular in Late Antiquity and adorn many Byzantine churches, including San Vitale in Ravenna and Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Thus, the use of mosaics reflects an artistic tie to the world of Late Antiquity. Late Antiquity is a period from about 300-800, when the Classical world dissolves and the Medieval period emerges. The mosaics in the Dome of the Rock contain no human figures or animals. While Islam does not prohibit the use of figurative art per se, it seems that in religious buildings, this proscription was upheld. Instead, we see vegetative scrolls and motifs, as well as vessels and winged crowns, which were worn by Sasanian kings. Thus, the iconography of the Dome of the Rock also includes the other major pre-Islamic civilization of the region, the Sasanian Empire, which the Arab armies had defeated.

    Scholars used to think that the building enclosing the Rock derived its form from the imperial mausolea (the burial places) of Roman emperors, such as Augustus or Hadrian. However, its octagonal form and Dome more likely referenced earlier local churches. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem was built to enclose the tomb of Christ. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock have domes that are almost identical in size; this suggests that the elevated position of the Dome of the Rock and the comparable size of its dome was a way that Muslims in the late 8th century proclaimed the superiority of their newly formed faith over Christians. Furthermore, the octagonal form of the Dome may derive from the Church of the Kathisma, a 5th century Church, later converted to a mosque, that was located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It was constructed over the rock where Mary reportedly sat on her way to Bethlehem. It is octagonal in shape and had an aisle that allowed ci...

    The Dome of the Rock also contains an inscription, 240 meters long, that includes some of the earliest surviving examples of verses from the Qur‘an – in an architectural context or otherwise. The bismillah (in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate), the phrase that starts each verse of the Qu’ran, and the shahada, the Islamic confession of faith, which states that there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet, are also included in the inscription. The inscription also refers to Mary and Christ and proclaims that Christ was not divine but a prophet. Thus the inscription also proclaims some of the core values of the newly formed religion of Islam. It also demonstrates the importance of calligraphy as a decorative form in Islamic Art. Below the Rock is a small chamber, whose purpose is not fully understood even to this day. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to enter the Dome of the Rock, the experience is moving, regardless of one’s faith. Archinet essay Image...

    • The Walls of Jerusalem Through The Centuries
    • David Rules Over The City of David —1004 BC – 971 BC
    • Add The Temple Mount—971 BC – 931 BC
    • The City’S Western Expansion—931 BC – 586 BC
    • Returning Exiles Rebuild The Walls—444 BC – 442 BC
    • Expansion Under The Maccabees—134 BC – 76 BC
    • The Walls of Jerusalem in Jesus’ Day—76 BC – Ad 33
    • The City Swells to The North—Ad 37 – Ad 70
    • The City Renamed “Aelia Capitolina”— Ad 70 – Ad 299
    • 3rd-century Walls of Jerusalem— Ad 299 – Ad 313

    The walls of Jerusalem and its gateshave expanded and contracted through the centuries like the breathing of a living being.

    David captured Jebus (Jerusalem) and made it the capital of Israel, calling it the “City of David.” It sat on a mere ten acres, south of the modern wallsof today. A short video in the timeline illustrates what the City of Davidmay have looked like in David’s day.

    Solomonexpanded the city north to include the hill called the Temple Mount, where he would build the First Temple. A few suggest that a “seam” in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount connects a later addition to a portion of the wall during Solomon’s time.

    In Hezekiah’s day, Assyria invaded the north and Hebrew refugees flooded the city. The walls of Jerusalem expanded to the west, quadrupling the city in size. King Hezekiah built a wall around the western hill of the city (2 Chronicles 32:5). A portion of this “broad wall” still stands in today’s Jewish Quarter.

    After the return from exile, the small Jewish population—under Nehemiah’s leadership—rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with dimensions similar to Solomon’s day. In the City of David, archaeologists found remnants of Nehemiah’s reconstruction.

    Under powerful Hasmonean kings, the walls of Jerusalem spread west again—and north. These are the eastern and western wall boundaries of today’s Old City. The Old City Wall’s western perimeter, south of the modern Jaffa Gate, sits today on top of where the walls expanded in the 2nd– and 1st-centuries BC.

    The walls in Jesus’s day were the same walls the Hasmoneans expanded. I drew a cross in the timeline at the location of Jesus’ crucifixion. The modern Citadel marks the western limit of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Pontius Pilate’s Praetorium was in this spot, and from here he likely tried and condemned Jesus.

    Herod Agrippa I laid the foundation for an expansion of the walls of Jerusalem to the north, completed during the First Revolt. The line of the 1st-century northern wall was north of the Old City’s wall of today.

    Titus leveled the walls of Jerusalem after burning the Temple and homes of the city. He left the wall in the south for his troops. Hadrian renamed the city, “Aelia Capitolina,” and built pagan temples over the sites of Jesus’ resurrection and of the Temple Mount. Titus left “only the loftiest of the towers, Phasael, Hippicus, and Mariamne, and the portion of the wall enclosing the city on the west” (Josephus, War 7:1-2). A testimony of the strength that fell to Rome. Many believe the tower still standing today in the Citadelis Phasael’s.

    After the Roman Legion departed near the end of the third century, a wall was constructed that roughly measured the dimension of the modern city walls. The of 3rd-century lines lay in similar places to today’s Old City Walls.

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  3. 539 BCE - Persian Ruler Cyrus the Great Conquers Babylonian Empire, Including Jerusalem. 516 BCE - Cyrus Permits Jews in Babylonian Exile to Return to Jerusalem; Second Temple Built. 445-425 BCE - Nehemiah the Prophet Rebuilds the Walls of Jerusalem; City Confined to Eastern Hill.

  4. This is a timeline of major events in the History of Jerusalem; a city that had been fought over sixteen times in its history. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

  5. On site of First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock built by Caliph Abd el-Malik. 1099-1291: Crusader domination (Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem) 1291-1516: Mamluk rule 1517-1917: Ottoman rule: 1564: Code of Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh) published. 1860: First neighborhood built outside walls of Jerusalem's Old City. 1882-1903

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