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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Damascus -- Umayyad Mosque

The Umayyad Mosque was a short walk from where we were staying in Old Damascus. The first day we were there, we walked to the mosque in the evening.

Can you see us hiding in the dark?

The Ummayad Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus (Arabic: جامع بني أمية الكبير, transl. Ğām' Banī 'Umayyah al-Kabīr), is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. Located in one of the holiest sites in the old city of Damascus, it is of great architectural importance. Source

Here we are with Basheer taking pictures

at a huge door!

The next morning we went back to tour the inside

Here is a view from the courtyard area which was full of activity as the azan called the faithful to their salat (prayer/worship).

Of course we posed for a few pictures near these beautifully-detailed columns and arches

There are a number of them!

I love the decorative touchesl!

Here is a bit about the Umayyad Mosque's construction from Wikipedia:

Construction of the mosque was based on the house of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, which had many functions: it was a place for personal and collective prayer, religious education, political meetings, administration of justice,and relief of the ill and homeless. The caliph asked and obtained from the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire 200 skilled workers to decorate the mosque, as evidenced by the partly Byzantine style of the building. The new mosque was the most impressive in the Islamic world at the time, and the interior walls were covered with fine mosaics, considered to depict paradise, or possibly the Ghouta which tradition holds so impressed Prophet Muhammad that he declined to enter it, preferring to taste paradise in the afterlife. The building was considered one of the marvels of the world, because it was one of the largest of its time. The exterior walls were based on the walls of the temple of Jupiter and measure 100 by 157.5 m.

Pictures from Damascus, Syria
January 2009

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