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The Dome of the Rock

is an Islamic shrine and major landmark located on the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The site's significance
stems from the religious beliefs regarding the rock,
known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart.

The Dome of the Rock is located at the visual center
of a platform known as the Temple Mount, which Muslims
refer to as the "Noble Sanctuary(Bait-ul-Muqaddas)".
It was constructed on the site of the Second Jewish
Temple,which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of
Jerusalem in 70 CE. In 637 CE, Jerusalem was conquered
by the Rashidun Caliphate army during the Muslim
conquest of Syria.

The Dome of the Rock was erected between 689 and 691
CE. The names of the two engineers in charge of the
project are given as: Yazid Ibn Salam from Jerusalem
and Raja Ibn Haywah from Baysan. Umayyad Caliph Abd
al-Malik ibn Marwan who initiated construction of the
Dome, hoped that it would “house the Muslims from cold
and heat” and intended the building to serve as a
shrine for pilgrims and not as a mosque for public
worship.

The Dome is maintained by the Ministry of Awqaf in
Amman, Jordan.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, non-Muslims were not
permitted in the area. Since 1967, non-Muslims have
been permitted limited access, however non-Muslims are
not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount.

In 2006, the compound was reopened to non-Muslim
visitors between the hours of 7:30-11:30 a.m. and
1:30-2:30 p.m. during summer and 7:30-10:30 a.m. and
1:30-2:30 p.m. during winter. Non-Muslims are
prohibited from entering after 2:30 p.m. and may not
enter on Fridays, Saturdays, or Muslim holidays. Entry
is through a wooden walkway next to the entrance to
the Hebrew Western Wall. Non-Muslims are prohibited
from entering the mosques and accessing the Temple
Mount through the Cotton Market. Visitors are subject
to strict security screening, and items such as Jewish
prayer books and instruments are prohibited. Visits to
the Dome of the Rock, however, are currently
prohibited to non-Muslims who will be stopped by the
guards as they approach the building.

[from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dome_of_the_Rock]

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