Built in the seventh century, the Dome of the Rock is one of the most famous Muslim shrines in the world. The iconic gilded wooden dome and ornate octagonal base marks the location where the Prophet Muhammad was believed to have ascended to heaven. Located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, the shrine is also home to the Foundation Stone and is an important holy site.
Visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City can tour the Temple Mount and the outside of the Dome of the Rock outside of Muslim prayer times. Although non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the shrine, they may respectfully admire the mosaics, ancient architecture, and calligraphy that surrounds the shrine. The Dome of the Rock is open to Muslims during prayer times.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Temple Mount is located within a 35-acre compound known as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which is controlled by the Islamic Trust.
- The Dome of the Mount is a sacred, religious site, and non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the shrine.
- Guided tours to the Dome of the Rock can help visitors explore the area respectfully
- Visitors are expected to dress respectfully with covered legs and arms.
- There are many steps and hills to get to the area, so relative physical health (and good walking shoes) are important.
How to Get There
The Dome of the Rock is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old Town. Many tours include visits to the Temple Mount and can help visitors avoid cultural faux pas.
When to Get There
Visitors are permitted to visit the Temple Mount outside of Muslim prayer times, which change seasonally; be sure to check the schedule in advance.
Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City is considered to be Islam’s third holiest site. It is located on the Temple Mount inside the 35-acre compound that also houses the Dome of the Rock. The compound is controlled by the Islamic Trust: Non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, but may visit the compound outside of prayer times.