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The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is home to two of the holiest sites on earth: Dome of the Rock (left photo) and Al Aqsa Mosque (right photo).
Note: From the Christian and Jewish perspective, the Dome of the Rock is the more important of the two main Temple Mount buildings. From the Muslim perspective, the Al Aqsa Mosque is more significant.
The Dome of the Rock was erected by the Muslims in the late 7th century to enclose a rock that is sacred to them. (The rock is also revered by Christians and Jews). The building was converted to a church in the Crusader era. Afterwards, the Dome of the Rock reverted to a Muslim shrine.
The octagonal Dome of the Rock is lavishly decorated inside and out.
Its diameter and height measure about 20 meters (66 feet) - and was gilded with 80 kilograms (175 pounds) of gold in 1996.
The outer wall is majestically tiled (though most of its superb 16th century Iznik tiles had to be replaced in the mid-20th century).
The holy rock is surrounded by a chamber sporting elaborate mosaics, Koran inscriptions, and marble columns.
The Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in the Islamic world (Mecca and Medina shrines are number one and two, respectively).
According to Muslim tradition, the Al Aqsa Mosque marks the site on Temple Mount where Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven on his famous Night Journey.
The Al Aqsa Mosque was originally built in the early 8th century. It was later destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt a number of times. The last major reconstruction occurred seven decades ago.
Location in Israel
Top 2 Israel Wonders