Israel 2000 Visit » Jerusalem » 13 Temple Mount  (5 Slides)     [Page 1 of 1] :: Jump To  
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This is a rather funny picture, which is why I included it. :) That's me behind my dad's hand. I'm not sure what he was waving at. My mom is on the right. Our son Daniel is in the stroller and Esther's playing with her stroller. My wife, Michelle, was taking the picture. Actually she took almost all the pictures during our visit to Israel. My dad and I had to wear these modesty skirts because we were wearing shorts. I hiked mine up pretty high and they were all laughing at me. I guess I can see why now. :) This is at the south end of the Temple Mount area. We are facing north and the Al Aqsa Mosque is off to the left.  By the way, if you ever go to Israel with small children, I highly recommend using strollers. You can't go everywhere with them, but they helped a lot.
This is a shot of the Dome of the Rock from the south. The gold gilded Dome sits on an octagonal building with entrances at the four compass points. Inside is the rock upon which Jewish tradition says Abraham sacrificed Isaac and Islamic tradition says Abraham sacrificed Ishmael. We went inside but I don't think we were permitted to take pictures. In front of the Dome is the portico that we see in this image. The other three compass points have one as well. This looks like a favorite place for pilgrims to have their picture taken. You can see some trees off to the right and left of this image. There are actually quite a few trees providing shade on the Temple Mount which makes it quite pleasant. The area at the top of these stairs around the Dome itself is treeless.
This is a view of the Dome from the east. In front of it is a smaller domed structure. I'm not sure what it is called but it does provide some shade as you can see. We went up to the Mount twice that summer (June/July 2000). The Intifada started in September of that year and from what I understand the Temple Mount has been closed to visitors ever since (as of November 2005). We were quite fortunate to be in Israel that particular summer. It was a time of relative calm with no bombings and we could also visit sites in the West Bank.
This is a close up of the ornate windows on the Dome. This is a poor picture but in the upper right you can see some Arabic writing. Verses from the Koran are written all over this building.
  1 Modesty Skirts  
  2 Dome of the Rock  
  3 Dome from East  
  4 Islamic Art on Dome  
This, again, is another poor shot but it was too interesting to pass up. It is a shot of the Golden Gate from the inside. The Golden Gate is on the east side of the city and it is usually quite prominent in pictures of the Old City taken from the Mount of Olives. The story behind this gate is that the Islamic Turks blocked it up to prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering as some Jewish traditions say he will. I find it intriguing that one religion would take another religion's traditions seriously enough to go through this kind of effort. There are also construction materials in the foreground as you can see. When we were there it was obvious that there was construction along the east side of the Temple Mount area. I tried to walk toward the south east corner, toward the Pinnacle of the Temple, but was stopped. It has since been revealed that they were building a large underground mosque in this area known as Solomon's Stables. In fact the construction has caused the south wall to weaken and a bulge has developed. Needless to say this construction has caused a considerable amount of controversy.
  5 Golden Gate from Inside  
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© Charles Grebe
This slide show is dedicated to my mother who made possible our summer 2000 visit to Israel.