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Dome Of The Rock - The Sacred Destinations

Author : Pankaj Modi

Dome of the Rock is a holy shrine that is constructed at the site of Temple Mount. Built in seventh century by Abd al-Malik, this massive structure initially served as a pilgrimage destination for Sunni Muslims.

For years, Dome of the Rock has remained a sacred site for devotees of different religion including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. This prominent building was earlier a site of a Jewish Temple. It is also the place Isaac, son of Abraham was sacrificed. Several events related to Jesus' life are known to have taken place here. According to legends, Dome is the place from where Muhammad is known to ascend into the sky by an angel named Gabriel. Due to too much religious significance attributed to it, it is revered by a large number of followers across the world.

The architectural plan of this building is amazing as it is built in proportions. The length of the walls and the diameter of the dome are exactly same. Due to its well-integrated plan, Dome of the Rock gave competition to the contemporary churches. The dazzling golden dome is the main attraction of this building. Later gold was replaced by bronze and aluminum. Half of the exterior is decorated with tiles and the other half is built in marble. The wall is in octagonal shape. There are several piers that surround the dome.

The interior is known for beautiful mosaics and marble. Inscriptions on the walls are from Quran. One of the doctrines is written repeatedly many times.

Chartres Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece built in Gothic style, is located in the city of Charters near Paris. The excellent state of preservation of the cathedral has earned laurels for it. Acquisition of Sancta Camisa by the cathedral was a landmark event in its history. As the legend goes, Charles gifted this tunic of Virgin Mary to the Chartres Cathedral. Due to immense religious significance that it carries, the cathedral is one of the most sacred churches that are used for pilgrimages.

There are three aisles and five radiating chapels. The use of buttresses as structural element made the cathedral one of its own kind. There are rose windows on transepts. The use of portals is prominent. The North portal is a depiction of the Old Testament. There are several statues of apostles and saints like Isaiah, Jeremiah, John, and the Baptist etc. South Portal illustrates New Testament. Here again, one comes across statutes of martyrs and saints. The Royal Portal shows the scenes from Last Judgment. Christ is shown to be blessing while holding a book in his left hand.

The interior has a 121 feet high nave. There are huge columns that support pointed arches. Windows are the distinctive features of the cathedral. They are made up of stained glasses. Scenes from Bible have been etched on these windows. Apart from this, there are three rose windows that have inner and outer circular roundels. The west Rose has three windows which display Christ standing amidst Evangelists. There are also scenes of resurrection, hell and heaven. Gifted by queen Blanche, North Rose glorifies Virgin Mary.

Author's Resource Box

Camino Santiago is a famous pilgrimage site that is considered sacred by Christian and other religions. And one can know about Chartres Cathedral and Hagia Sophia.

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Tags:   dome of the rock, chartres cathedral, Churches

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Submitted : 2011-01-03    Word Count : 550    Times Viewed: 339