Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock
Qubbat As-Sakhrah
قبّة الصخرة
Jerusalem-2013(2)-Temple Mount-Dome of the Rock (SE exposure).jpg
Dome of the Rock is located in Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock
Location within the Old City of Jerusalem
AdministrationMinistry of Awqaf (Jordan)
Geographic coordinates31°46′41″N 35°14′07″E / 31°46′41″N 35°14′07″E / 31.7780; 35.2354
StyleUmayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman
Date establishedbuilt 688–692,[1] expanded 820s, restored 1020s, 1545–1566, 1721/2, 1817, 1874/5, 1959–1962, 1993.

The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قبة الصخرةQubbat al-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלעKippat ha-Sela) is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691–92 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23. The Dome of the Rock is in its core one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture.[2]

Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces,[3] although its outside appearance has been significantly changed in the Ottoman period and again in the modern period, notably with the addition of the gold-plated roof, in 1959–61 and again in 1993. The octagonal plan of the structure may have been influenced by the Byzantine Church of the Seat of Mary (also known as Kathisma in Greek and al-Qadismu in Arabic) built between 451 and 458 on the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.[3]

The Foundation Stone the temple was built over bears great significance in the Abrahamic religions as the place where God created the world and the first human, Adam.[4] It is also believed to be the site where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son, and as the place where God's divine presence is manifested more than in any other place, towards which Jews turn during prayer. The site's great significance for Muslims derives from traditions connecting it to the creation of the world and the belief that the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven started from the rock at the center of the structure.[5][6]

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been called "Jerusalem's most recognizable landmark,"[7] along with two nearby Old City structures, the Western Wall, and the "Resurrection Rotunda" in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[8] It is the earliest archaeologically-attested religious structure to be built by a Muslim ruler and the building's inscriptions contain the earliest epigraphic proclamations of Islam and of the prophet Muhammad.[9] The inscriptions proved to be a milestone, as afterward they became a common feature in Islamic structures and almost always mention Muhammad.[9] The Dome of the Rock remains a "unique monument of Islamic culture in almost all respects", including as a "work of art and as a cultural and pious document", according to historian Oleg Grabar.[10]


Basic structure

Cross section of the Dome (print from 1887, after the first detailed drawings of the Dome, made by Frederick Catherwood in 1833).[11]

The structure is basically octagonal. It is capped at its centre by a dome, approximately 20 m (66 ft) in diameter, mounted on an elevated circular drum standing on 16 supports (4 tiers and 12 columns).[12]

Surrounding this circle is an octagonal arcade of 24 piers and columns.[13] The octagonal arcade and the inner circular drum create an inner ambulatorium that encircles the holy rock.

The outer walls are also octagonal. They each measure approximately 18 m (60 ft) wide and 11 m (36 ft) high.[12] The outer and inner octagon create a second, outer ambulatorium surrounding the inner one.

Both the circular drum and the exterior walls contain many windows.[12]

Interior decoration

The interior of the dome is lavishly decorated with mosaic, faience and marble, much of which was added several centuries after its completion. It also contains Qur'anic inscriptions.

The dedicatory inscription in Kufic script placed around the dome contains the date believed to be the year the Dome was first completed, AH 72 (691/2 CE), while the name of the corresponding caliph and builder of the Dome, al-Malik, was deleted and replaced by the name of Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (r. 813–833) during whose reign renovations took place.

Exterior decoration

Surah Ya Sin (the 'Heart of the Quran') is inscribed across the top of the tile work and was commissioned in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent.[14] Al-Isra, the Surah 17 which tells the story of the Isra or Night Journey, is inscribed above this.

Other Languages
العربية: قبة الصخرة
azərbaycanca: Qübbətüs-Səhra
български: Купол на Скалата
čeština: Skalní dóm
Deutsch: Felsendom
فارسی: قبةالصخره
français: Dôme du Rocher
한국어: 바위의 돔
Bahasa Indonesia: Kubah Shakhrah
עברית: כיפת הסלע
Latina: Tholus Saxi
latviešu: Klints kupols
magyar: Sziklamecset
македонски: Купола на Карпата
Bahasa Melayu: Qubbat As-Sakhrah
Nederlands: Rotskoepel
日本語: 岩のドーム
norsk nynorsk: Klippedomen
português: Cúpula da Rocha
română: Cupola Stâncii
русский: Купол Скалы
Simple English: Dome of the Rock
slovenčina: Skalný dóm
slovenščina: Kupola na skali
српски / srpski: Купола на стени
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kupola na stijeni
svenska: Klippdomen
татарча/tatarça: Кыя гөмбәзе мәчете
українська: Купол Скелі
吴语: 圆顶回庙