Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, Israel

By | December 2, 2021

Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock

In a region as rich in history and culture as the Middle East, the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are two particularly worthwhile destinations to visit. Belonging to the old city of Jerusalem, which is claimed for itself today by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, they are both historically and culturally unique sights.

The mosque

According to topschoolsintheusa, the Al Aqsa Mosque is the third most important mosque of the Ummah (the community of believers) in Islam. Erected on the Temple Mount in the early eighth century, with two domes and four minarets, it can accommodate a total of 5,000 people.
However, access is not permitted for non-Muslims: But seen from the outside, the mosque is an interesting testimony to the architecture of early Islam.

The Dome of the Rock

Not far from the Al Aqsa Mosque is the Dome of the Rock, which was built about 30 years before the mosque. This building with a magnificent golden dome is the oldest sacred building in Islam and also one of the holiest places of this religion.
Designed in a Byzantine-early Christian style, it is one of the landmarks of Jerusalem today. For the Muslims, this place is also special because, according to legend, the Prophet Mohammed is said to have started his ascension here.

The symbols

Both Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock are in a certain sense symbols of what is special about the Holy Land. Erected on the ruins of a Jewish temple and a Christian church, one may see in them both: symbols of the struggle of religions as well as of the flow of time.

In any case, the visit is very worthwhile (I was there myself as a teenager) and can only be recommended to every traveler to Israel.

David Citadel Museum

The Citadel of David is located at the Jaffa Gate, a historical entrance to the old city of Jerusalem, a fixed point on every trip to the Holy Land. On the highest elevation of Jerusalem in 24 BC. BC King Herod build a fortress. Only one of the fortification towers of the first city wall was preserved. A mosque and a minaret were built on it in the 16th century under Suleiman the Magnificent, which is now known as the Tower of David. So the name of the Citadel of David would have nothing to do with King David. The City Museum of Jerusalem is located in the Citadel of David, also known as the Tower of David.

The large, worth seeing structure looks like a medieval castle. In this history museum, the urban development of Jerusalem from the second millennium BC to the present day is documented with exhibits. Interested travelers can also marvel at many archaeological excavations here. Everything is described in Hebrew, Arabic and English. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there are always changing special exhibitions.

Music, dance and theater performances are also held in the magnificent setting of the citadel. The history of Jerusalem is presented with light, images and music in a night show that is well worth seeing. The towers of the citadel offer interesting views over the old city, but also over the new Jerusalem. Here is an ideal place for extraordinary photos.

Mount of Olives

When traveling to Israel, the 809 meter high Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is an important destination. The Mount of Olives, usually called the Mount of Olives in other languages, is equally important for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Jews believe that the Messiah will come to the Mount of Olives via Jerusalem. He will hold the Last Judgment in the Kidron Valley below the Mount of Olives. Therefore, the Jewish cemetery is located here, which is well worth seeing.
Christians believe that Jesus was captured here and ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives.
Muslims also believe in the eschatological judgment in the Kidron Valley and in a rope between the Mount of Olives and the Temple Mount, over which the righteous will walk.

There are churches of all faith groups on the Mount of Olives.

The Paternoster Church belongs to the Carmelite Convent. It was built over a cave where Jesus is said to have taught his disciples the Our Father prayer. In the cloister of this Byzantine church you can find the text of the prayer on 140 majolica panels in all languages. There is no mass tourism in the Paternoster Church, the visitor can pray in peace.

In today’s Muslim Ascension Chapel, a Catholic service can be celebrated on the holiday of Ascension Day.

The by Tsar Alexander III. The Russian Orthodox Maria Magdalena Church is located in an idyllic garden and is particularly noticeable due to the seven gold-plated onion domes.

Dominus Flevit means “the Lord wept”. Here Jesus is said to have wept over Jerusalem. The chapel was built in 1955 and belongs to the Franciscan order. A church is said to have stood here as early as the 5th century.

The Church of the Nations, also known as the Basilica of Fear of Death, is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. This Roman Catholic sacred building was built jointly by several countries on the foundation of a Byzantine basilica. In the center you can see the stone on which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

From the viewing platform above the Jewish cemetery you can enjoy a particularly good view of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in times of peace. This place is very popular for taking photos.

Dome of the Rock, Israel