The Dome of the Rock
The second caliph Umar, or Omar, who captured Jerusalem in 638 allowed Christians to retain their monuments, mainly in the northwestern quarter, but the Temple Mount remained empty. The large rock on this site is said to mark the place of Abraham’s intended sacrifice of his son Isaac and of Mohammed’s (PBUH) final flight to heaven. Here, Caliph Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock, or mosque of Omar, in 691, as a place of pilgrimage.
Although heavily restored and repaired, the Dome retains the quality of the original, mathematically harmonious in its proportions and ornamented with mosaic, its dome covered in gold leaf. This octagonal building remains one of the most original examples of Islamic architecture.