What It’s Like Inside the Dome of the Rock

published on July 20, 2020

Last year on a research trip to Jerusalem I got the opportunity to go inside the Dome of the rock here are my thoughts on that experience and here's also a bunch of footage that I took not all of it made it into my what is the Dome of the rock video

Generally speaking at least here in January 2019 non-muslims are not allowed inside but they are known to make exceptions the Research Institute where I was saying had a special connection with a former architect who helped with

Some of the renovations of the place in the 20th century so we got permission to go inside we woke up fairly early to beat the tons of tourists that would eventually show up at the Plaza the whole place was

Pretty empty as the Sun rose over the Haram al-sharif I made sure to get some pretty epic slow pans of the place we took off our shoes at the entrance while a security guard checked our bags and we walked inside

And I know with cliche to say this but it's beautiful I think I took four or five shots just like this one staring up at the dome slowly panning over it because I wanted to make sure to document it and because I was mesmerized

By it since Islamic art has at times discouraged depictions of people and animals they've gotten really good at what's called an iconic artwork artwork without representing human figures or images so inside the Dome of the rock

You see lots of geometric patterns or patterns based off of vegetation so notice here the flowers the spindly vine like motifs it's a kaleidoscope of colors and designs honestly though the thing that

Struck me the most was how ordinary it felt to see it in person it's kind of a similar feeling you get meeting someone really famous I don't know if you've ever run into a famous politician or celebrity before I have a few times and

It always feels ordinary oh this person is a real person huh they look like a normal person and I've always felt that way for famous buildings I've seen to I visited the Parthenon in Athens the Colosseum in Rome and they're cool

They're impressive and it's surreal to see something in person that you've only seen in pictures because it makes it real it grounds you in reality as you try to draw connections between the space you're standing in and the

Opinions you've already formed of the space based off of other contexts where you've seen it for the Parthenon you've seen it in travel posters or documentaries or video games for the Dome of the rock you might have heard

About it in a political or religious debate at least I have because I've studied religion so it's jarring to stand in a building while at the same time mentally connecting it with the knowledge that it's a source of

Controversy for some people it also felt a little surreal to see it in active use to notice the scaffolding notice the plastic chairs the piles of qur'an's this is not a museum this is not the type of sacred space that no one can

Touch the local population in Jerusalem actively use it this again puts in contrast to other famous buildings I've seen the Parthenon is no longer used as a temple to Athena it's a tourist destination but the Dome of the rock had

Ordinary people just going about their day reading the Quran little things like electric lights and digital readouts of when to pray all stood out to me as modern amenities in a 7th century

Building and I thought this was really cool it points to the continuation of religious practice over the course of 1400 years of Islamic history and it points to continuous adaptation of ancient sacred space that's cool but

Because it's still in use I actually felt a little awkward we were the only tourists inside we were taking pictures so notice the camera clicking sound effects I couldn't help but feel like we were intruding on some other people's

Daily worship this was especially true walking down into the grotto underneath the rock a Muslim woman was down there and what I guess was private prayer or contemplation and as soon as our tour group noisily clattered down the

Stairways she got up and left I really don't blame her as a bunch of noisy American archaeologists probably break the meditative silence of the place over although it's one of those experiences that I'll take with me for the rest of

My life not just as a religious studies scholar or a scholar of the late antique Mediterranean world but just as a person trying to understand other cultures and other religions it's eye-opening to see one of the holiest sites for the second

Largest religion in the world and know what it's like to be there on an ordinary day thanks for watching let me know if you'd like to see some of my other travel footage I have hours of it and I really don't know what to do with

It and I'll see you next time

Related Videos

Does religion affect public health well I'm going to read for you a list of health care related issues and you tell me if they have anything to do with reli...
Tell me if you've heard this before Blanc is not a religion it's a cult people have filled in this blank with all types of groups whether Scientology Wi...
Hey everyone so I just wanted to make a quick video celebrating that we have passed 6000 subscribers it's a little crazy to think but back at the beginning ...
We live in an increasingly automated world automated cars automated baristas but what about automated priests a Japanese company nice a echo has programmed a ro...
Can you teach about the Bible in public schools short answer yes but do you see that asterisk that's what the rest of this video is about starting with the ...
Exorcism it's a scary word that conjures scary images and you've seen the movies demons possessing helpless children in the most perverse ways screaming...
I've always been jealous of academics who have fancy job titles like sociologists or archeologists they just sound so cool but what do you do when you study...
Is Coca-Cola a religion? Um... What?? How could this lovable, fizzy soft drink - the perennial beverage at parties and Warren Buffet share holders' meetings...
During my second year in graduate school I almost fainted during class while watching a video of an animal sacrifice see I was taking a greco-roman religion cla...
If you remember from part one of this series animal sacrifice seems to have originated some time after humans started to domesticate animals so the question rem...
Hey everyone so I'm in Jerusalem conducting research for my dissertation project but while I'm here in my free time I'm gonna be visiting different ...
Hi my name is Andrew Henry and I'm dr. Hussein Rashid and this is religion for breakfast intro to Islam with over 1.8 billion followers around the world tha...
Star Wars Canon explains the formation of the New Testament Canon why well consider the similarities both the Star Wars franchise and early Christianity have an...
There is not enough quality educational material about religion on YouTube so imagine how excited I was when I heard that crash course the educational channel s...
What you're seeing is an otherwise unassuming intersection in East Jerusalem like any major city it's a drumbeat of diesel engines motorcycles sirens an...
In the 5th century hey geography the life and miracles of st. Tecla the author records a terrifying account in the middle of the night the priest Dexy honest wa...
So I'm currently hiking up the Mount of Olives outside the old city of Jerusalem and it's here that it's believed that Jesus ascended into heaven af...
So I'm standing at a little tourist complex on the Jordan River it's the site where Jesus is believed to have been baptized by John the Baptist's bu...
In 2011 the philosopher Charles Taylor wrote everyone can agree that one of the big differences between us and our ancestors of 500 years ago is that they lived...

What is Satanism?

9 months ago
When you hear the word Satanism what comes to mind for many a conjures scary images of cloaked figures orgies and blood sacrifices conducted in basements or may...