Tour the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with archaeologist and project director Zachi Dvira!

The Temple Mount is the holiest place on Earth for the Jewish people. (The Western Wall is simply the most accessible for Jews and is not the holiest site, as it is often referred to by the media).

Unfortunately, today access to the Temple Mount is severely restricted to non-Muslims and only Muslims can pray there.

The Dome of the Rock mosque was completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, where it was purposely built on the site of the First and Second Jewish Temples, the latter of which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23.

Before 1959, the dome was covered in blackened lead. In the course of substantial restoration carried out from 1959 to 1962, the lead was replaced by aluminum-bronze plates covered with gold leaf.

In 1993, the golden dome covering was refurbished following a donation of USD 8.2 million by King Hussein of Jordan who sold one of his houses in London to fund the 80 kilograms of gold required.

 

Published: September 27, 2017
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