"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Damascus -- Umayyad Mosque Courtyard

More photos from the courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque.

"The spot where the mosque now stands was a temple of Hadad in the Aramaean era. The Aramaean presence was attested by the discovery of a basalt orthostat depicting a sphinx, excavated in the north-east corner of mosque. The site was later temple of Jupiter in the Roman era, then a Christian church dedicated to John the Baptist in the Byzantine era." Source

When one hears the Muslim call to prayer (hear azan here) you notice people making their way to the mosque. First many head somewhere for the ablutions. One must be ritually clean in order to pray and offer praise to Allah.

"Initially, the Muslim conquest of Damascus in 636 did not affect the church, as the building was shared by Muslim and Christian worshippers. It remained a church although the Muslims built a mud brick structure against the southern wall so that they could pray." Source

"Under the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I, however, the church was purchased from the Christians before being demolished. Between 706 and 715 the current mosque was built in its place. According to the legend, Al-Walid himself initiated the demolition by driving a golden spike into the church. At that point in time, Damascus was one of the most important cities in the Middle East and would later become the capital of the Umayyad caliphate." Source

I enjoyed seeing the children everywhere we went.

How about we take a look inside now?

Pictures from Damascus, Syria
January 31, 2009

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