Dome of the Rock
Visit Jerusalem – Dome of the Rock
Visit Jerusalem to see its most distinctive landmark – the Dome of the Rock with its golden roof and turquoise octagonal sides. The Dome of the Rock is located on the Temple Mount in Islamic lands. The dome is built over the Fountain Stone which is where the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. Others believe the nearby Al Aqsa Mosque is where Mohammed ascended. A small cavern, known as the Well of Souls, exists in the Fountain Stone. The Jewish faith considers the Well of Souls to be the intersection of Heaven and Earth. Today people of Jewish faith are not permitted to pray on the grounds of the Dome of the Rock, so they pray at the Wailing Wall instead.
Al Aqsa Mosque
The Dome of the Rock is also the site where Abraham is believed to have nearly sacrificed his son. Check carefully what the current status is for visitors, as non-Muslims have been denied entry to the Dome of the Rock or to the Well of Souls beneath the Fountain Stone at various points in time. The Palestinians believe this land belongs to Palestine.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Visit Jerusalem – Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The most important site for Christians who visit Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is very large. It contains the last five Stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa), which are markers for Christ’s path through Jerusalem when he bore the cross. The Stations of the Cross can be followed from the Zion Gate, through the Muslim Quarter to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Aedicule, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, © Jorge Lascar
Christ was removed from the cross at the Chapel of Golgotha, which is part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Rotunda under one of the domes houses the gigantic chapel called the Aedicule, which marks the spot where Christ was entombed. Aedicule is almost like a church within a church.
Wailing Wall Worshippers
Visit Jerusalem – the Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall is part of the old Western Wall, which is part of the remains of the ancient Second Temple. The Wailing Wall is the focal point in Jerusalem for the Jewish faith. Men and women have separate sections where they lean against the walls and insert prayers written on paper into cracks in the wall.
It’s called the Wailing Wall because this is where the Jewish faith come to cry over the destruction of the temples that stood here long ago. The Dome of the Rock is on the hill just behind the Wailing Wall, but you can only catch glimpses of the top of the Dome of the Rock from the Wailing Wall.