Dome of the Rock

A visit to the Dome of the Rock, one of the most important religious sites in the whole world, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, with captivating stories and an incredible atmosphere of holiness.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Dome of the Rock: experience the holiness.

Believed by Jews to be the foundation of the world, and by Muslims to be the place where Muhammad ascended to heaven, it’s rare to find another place on earth with so much holiness and importance to billions of people. This, combined with the impressive architecture, make the Dome of the Rock one of the most epic sites in Israel.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem old city
Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem

Located on the Temple Mount, near Al-Aqsa mosque, and above the Western Wall, is the Dome of the Rock, the most renowned symbol of the old city of Jerusalem and one of the holiest sites in the world. With impressive architecture and so many fascinating stories and beliefs, this often tense place is definitely one of the most impressive and important sites in Israel.

The Story of the Dome of the Rock and the Foundation Stone

To the surprise of many, the Dome of the Rock is not a mosque. The dome was built to protect the Foundation Stone in its center and to allow Muslim pilgrims and believers to perform the ritual circumambulation around it, similar to the worship around the stone of the Kaaba in Mecca.

Dome of the Rock in Islam

According to Islam, the Foundation Stone is the place from which Muhammad ascended to heaven, and on his ascent, the stone itself tried to join him and was stopped by the angel Gabriel. The stone started to rise on the south side, so its shape is not straight. As a result, certain marks on the west side of the stone are thought to be Gabriel’s fingerprints. It is also believed that the first person on earth was buried under the Foundation Stone. The Foundation Stone is the third most important site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.

Dome of the Rock in Judaism

The Foundation Stone is also very important in Judaism, as it was a part of both the First and Second Temples, and is believed to be the place from which the world was founded by god. It is also believed that the Tehom, “The Deep”, is under the stone, and in the story about Noah and the Flood, the Foundation Stone was moved in order to cause the flood.

Building the Dome

The Dome of the Rock was built by the Caliph of the Umayyad family, Abd al-Malik at the top of the Temple Mount, over 1300 years ago, between 685-691, and unlike other monuments from those days, the dome has been relatively well-preserved over the years. The structure has been restored many times over the years, was clad once in gold, and then in tiles. The most recent restoration of the site was carried out in 1998 by King Hussein II of Jordan, who sold one of his London homes to help finance the 80kg of gold needed to clad the dome. The interior of the temple is very luxurious and decorated with mosaics, marble, and engravings

The Dome’s architecture

The architectural elements include all of the first elements of Islamic art: the proportional construction style and the symmetry in the distribution of spaces within the building are among the prominent features of the dome.
There are many decorations on the walls, the ceiling, and the arches, like mosaics in abstract patterns, mostly from the plant world, and calligraphic decorations from verses of the Koran.

The building has an octagonal shape, which is decorated with colored clay tiles, in which verses from the Koran are incorporated, The dome is coated on the outside with thin metal plates, which shine like gold.

Can you visit the Dome of the Rock?

Non-muslim visitors can only go up the Temple Mount at specific times during the week, and only after presenting an identification card. They cannot enter the Dome of the Rock, but they can see it from up close on the Temple Mount. Anyway, it is important to note that there is a lot of political tension around Temple Mount, and it is not always safe to visit, so you should check the situation before you go.

The entrance to the Temple Mount is from the Western Wall Plaza.

Dress code:

You must wear shirts and pants with long sleeves on Temple Mount.



Opening hours

For non-Muslims -
Open from Sunday - Thursday
Wintertime: 7:00 - 10:30; 12:30 - 13:45
Summertime: 7:00 - 11:30; 13:30 - 14:30

Parking and transportation

There is no available parking near Temple Mount. The best way to get there is to park at the edge of the old city and walk there. The closest parking lot is about 20 mins on foot. It is easy to get here by bus, with many bus lines getting to the Western Wall.

Accessibility arrangements

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