The exterior of Qubbat al Sakhra (Dome of the Rock)

The Dome of the Rock is often held up as the first work of Islamic architecture and also the finest and most iconic symbol of Islam. As the name suggests, this mosque enclaves a sacred rock where many believe that Prophet Muhammad PBUH ascended to heaven during al Isra wal Mi’raj. The large central dome (around 25 meters high and 20 meters in diameter) is placed on a cylindrical wall or ‘drum’ which is decorated with sixteen windows and is supported by twelve stone columns arranged in a circle within the mosque. At the very top of these exterior walls, a narrow band of Arabic inscription written in white letters against a blue background weaves 250m of Qu’ran around the building.

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