The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Muslims consider this to be the site where Abraham almost
sacrificed his elder son Ishmael, whereas Jews and
Christians believe it was Isaac, not Ishmael. There is some
controversy among secular scholars about equating Mount
Moriah (where Isaac's binding occurred according to the
Biblical narrative), the Temple Mount and the location
where Jacob saw the ladder to heaven; but for orthodox
Jews at least there is no doubt that all these events
occurred on this spot. Other, extra-Biblical Jewish traditions
say it is the spot where the first stone was laid in the building
of the world.
The Dome of the Rock was built for Caliph Abd al-Malik by
Byzantine craftsmen from Constantinople sent to the Caliph
by the Byzantine Emperor. It is in the shape of a Byzantine
martyrium, a structure intended for the housing and veneration
of saintly relics and is an excellent example of middle Byzantine
On entering the central dome area, one sees an excellent
example of Byzantine archetecture.
The rock, itself, as seen from the walkway around the inside
of the dome.
For more information on the Dome of the Rock and its history,