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The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قبة الصخرة Qubbat As-Sakhrah) is a famous Islamic shrine in Jerusalem. It was built between 687 and 691 by the 9th Caliph, Abd al-Malik. It is sometimes called the Mosque of Omar (though it is not a mosque) because it is built on the site where Umar ibn al-Khattab prayed when he first entered Jerusalem. According to tradition, the Dome was built to honor the Lord, while some claim the caliph also wanted to build a shrine to rival Mecca. Located in what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary — which Jews call the Temple Mount — it remains one of the best known landmarks of Jerusalem. The rock in the center of the dome is believed by Muslims to be the spot from which Muhammad was brought by night and from which he ascended through the heavens to God (See Miraj). Accompanied by the angel Gabriel, he was consulted by Moses and given the obligatory Islamic prayers before returning to earth. It is a holy place to Muslims. The Jews believe this place to be the location where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac at the command of the Lord, where Jacob saw the ladder to heaven, and within the boundaries of the innermost chamber of the Jewish Temple. Other Jewish traditions say it is the spot where the first stone was laid in the building of the world. Essentially unchanged for more than thirteen centuries, the Dome of the Rock remains one of the world's most beautiful and enduring architectural treasures. The gold covered dome stretches 20 metres across the Noble Rock, rising to an apex more than 35 metres above it.

*scanned image*

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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