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Dome Interior

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Dome Interior
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Photo Comments

View looking up at the interior of the Dome that is over the Foundation Stone.   JMO (p. 95) wrote: "Damage to the dome meant that the mosaics of the drum needed restoration at least six times, but experts agree that the original designs were retained.  All the other mosaics needed only light repairs."

The patterns of the mosaics include stylize vegetation, and jewellery.  Many of the mosaic cubes are actually gold set at various angles to enhance the beauty of the scene.

There are actually three Arabic inscriptions visible.  One is in a thin strip at the base of the Dome just above the gold-decorated base.  Above the windows- the middle inscription is visible and closer to the central point of the dome the inner inscription is visible.  Obviously, Arabic calligraphy is an art form.

Notice the windows that let light into the structure.  The marble-clad arches above the columns that support the dome are visible in the photo.

IMHO — a dizzying display of color, textures, and building materials.

The inscription attributes the construction of the building to the Abbasid caliph al-Mamun, but the date on the inscription indicates that it was constructed earlier by the Umayyad calif Abd al-Malik (ca. A.D. 691-692).  However, recent researchers have suggested that the building was constructed even earlier(!)—by the first Umayyad caliph Muawiyad (r. 661-680) (Artifax (Autumn 2023) citing an article in National Geographic, September, 2023)!

Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome. The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide From Earliest Times to 1700. Revised and expanded Fifth ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

The stone has many events associated with it in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions:  The binding of Isaac, the place of the Holy of Holies in the Solomonic and Herodian Temples; maybe a Roman Temple, the place from which Muhammad made his night journey to the "Distant Place," a Church Altar, etc.

The Dome of the Rock was completed about A.D. 691 by the Muslim Umayyad Dynasty which was headquartered in Damascus.  The Dome structure was intended to portray the glories of Islam and to divert pilgrim traffic to Jerusalem - from Mecca and Medina.

The photo is courtesy of David Padfield (www.Padfield.com).  The commentary is that of Carl Rasmussen.