Travel Tips — By Judy Lash Balint on September 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Al-Aksa Mosque, in the foreground, is the less flashy but more holy Moslem site on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  A few hundred yards to the north is the Dome of the Rock that gets way more photo attention thanks to its beautiful gold dome.

Al Aksa is the third holiest site in the world for Moslems and the second oldest mosque, after the revered Kaba’a in Mecca.  Unfortunately, today the mosque is closed to non-Moslem visitors, but it’s still worth a visit to the Temple Mount to appreciate the grandeur of the site and to see the remnants of masonry from the Roman and Byzantine period that lay on the mount.

According to Jewish tradition, the Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world, since both the First and Second Temples stood there and the foundation stone of the world is believed to lie there on the place where, according to the Bible, the binding of Isaac took place on Mt Moriah.

Directly to the east of the Temple Mount we see the graves of the Mount of Olives, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, where many of the most renowned figures in the Jewish world throughout history are buried.

To the left of the cemetery, the grey roof of the Dominus Flavit church is visible, and on top of the hill, the commanding spire of the Church of the Ascension sits on the summit of the Mount of Olives.



Tags: Al Aksa, Church of Ascension, Dominus Flavit, Jerusalem, Jewish cemetery, Mount of Olives, Second Temple, Temple Mount