Close up view of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem by Bill Hunter.
The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة – Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע – Kipat Hasela) is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Foundation Stone, at its heart, bears great significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The Dome of the Rock is situated in the center of the Temple Mount, the site of the Jewish Second Temple. The location is holy to Christians primarily because of the role the Temple played in the life of Jesus. The Temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans, who built a temple to Jupiter on the site. During the Byzantine era, Jerusalem was primarily Christian, and pilgrims came by the tens of thousands to experience the places where Jesus walked.
With the Persian invasion in 614, followed by the Muslim Siege of Jerusalem in 637, the Dome of the Rock was constructed by the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik. Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches.
The Foundation Stone and its surroundings is the holiest site in Judaism. Though Muslims now pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, they once faced the Temple Mount as the Jews do. Muhammad changed the direction of prayer for Muslims after a revelation from Allah. Jews traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period.