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Southern Central Ambulatory

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Southern Central Ambulatory
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Photo Comments

View looking west down the central ambulatory.  Notice the beautiful marble columns on square plinths and the marble facing on the walls.  The ceiling is covered with very decorative elements.  In the upper right of the image, the base of the circular dome and some of its windows are visible.

There are three concentric circular "rows" of columns that encircle the Foundation Stone.  This is the main ambulatory that runs without obstruction around the whole of the octagonal-shaped building.  The inner ambulatory is visible to the right of the columns on the right, between the rock (shielded by the wooden barrier) and those columns.  The outer ambulator is visible to the left of the columns on the left.

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 Muhamed 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 Moslem Umayyad Dynasty that 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.