Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra), Jerusalem

Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra), Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock stands as one of the most magnificent achievements of Islamic architecture, renowned for its golden dome, vibrant blue mosaics, and impeccable proportions. Commissioned by Caliph Abd al-Malik Ibn Marawan, the Dome was intended to assert Islam's significance alongside Judaism and Christianity, particularly in competition with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Contrary to popular misconception, this structure is not a mosque but rather a shrine. It lacks features typical of mosques (such as a qibla wall and prayer hall); instead, it houses a sacred rock believed to be the site where Abraham intended to sacrifice his son. This rock protruded from the remains of Herod's Temple, and Abd al-Malik chose to commemorate it with the construction of the Dome.

The exterior is adorned with marble slabs and glazed green and blue tiles, featuring Koranic inscriptions, geometric patterns, and floral motifs. These designs, originally commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 1500s, have undergone various renovations over time.

In the 1960s, the dome was covered with anodized aluminum, replacing the original lead covering that had caused structural issues. This aluminum covering provided a lighter and more cost-effective solution compared to the gold that was once used but later melted down to settle the debts of a reckless caliph. Despite these changes, the Dome of the Rock remains an enduring symbol of Jerusalem.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra) on Map

Sight Name: Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra)
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Christian Quarter Walking Tour

Christian Quarter Walking Tour

One of the epicenters of worldwide Christianity, the Christian Quarter is the 2nd-largest of Jerusalem’s four ancient quarters. A fascinating place to stroll through, it covers the Old City’s northwestern part, just beyond Jaffa Gate – the traditional pilgrim’s entrance to Jerusalem and a prime destination for most visitors.

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Considered for centuries to be the center of the universe, Jerusalem is where the most famous figure in history, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilled his divine mission by carrying a cross from the place of Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Golgotha where he was crucified. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus, allowing you to see what many consider some of the holiest places on our planet....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Smaller and quieter than the Old City's other three quarters, the Armenian quarter contains a series of winding cobblestoned streets and alleyways teeming with people, shops, coffee stands, ceramic workshops and hookah bars. A city in miniature with distinct language, alphabet and culture, it has been in place since the 4th century, when Armenia adopted Christianity as a national religion.
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

Historians believe that the Old City of Jerusalem probably came into being more than 4,500 years ago. The defensive wall around it features a number of gates built on the order of the Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in the first half of the 16th century, each of which is an attraction in its own right. Until as recently as 1870, they were all closed from sunset to sunrise; nowadays, just...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Dotted with many sightseeing places, Mount Scopus – translating as the “Observation Mount” from Greek – is a great place to get views over the whole Old City of Jerusalem on a nice day. The mount has been of major strategic importance since Roman times, with forces setting up camp here prior to laying the siege that culminated in the final Roman victory over Jerusalem around 70 AD....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Bethlehem Walking Tour

Bethlehem Walking Tour

Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem has been known to the world, for more than two millennia, as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The “star of Bethlehem” as well as Christmas carols and hymns are firmly associated with this ancient city in the West Bank, Palestine, and thus, for some visitors, the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise.

Undoubtedly, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles

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