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Islamic Monuments in Old Damascus

 Home > Damascus and Religions > Damascus and Islam > The Omayyad Mosque

It's undoubted that Omayyad Mosque is absolutely the most important embodiment that represents Damascus. It's built on  a sacred ground which was occupied by temples of different  religions, that's why the history of the mosque itself represents the whole history of Damascus.

Moreover, Omayyad Mosque takes a special position in the history of the mosque itself and represents the history of architecture, particularly the Islamic architectural techniques, due to its special distinction, hugeness and luxurious ornamentations, paintings and mosaic which decorate the walls of the mosque forming some great coordinated masterpieces.

The Omayyad Mosque is considered as on of the most important architectural achievements during the early stages of the Islamic state.

The History of the Omayyad Mosque

Hadad Arami Temple

The Hadad Aramaic temple is the first known temple where Omayyad mosque is located now. Three thousand years ago people worship Hadad, the Syrian god of lightings and storms. The temple had probably changed into a Roman one right after Romans ruled Damascus. However the new Roman temple had a new name: Jupiter, the Damascene temple.

Anyhow, according to the historians, Hadad temple was converted into a church at the end of the forth century A.C.

The Muslim leader Khaled Ben Al Waleed changed some parts of the church and made them a mosque when he conquered Damascus. Muslims and Christians used to enter the mosque from the same gate: Muslims were supposed to pray in the eastern side, while Christians had to pray in the western side.  

In the Omayyad Era, the mosque was held by the Muslims and turned into an Islamic Masjid. A compensation was paid to Christians. The Omayyad Caliph, Abdul Malek bin Marwan rebuilt the mosque.As he kept all the Roman relics of the temple, the church wasn't damaged. The Mosque had faced many natural disasters, such as fires and earthquakes. The huge fire of 1893 damaged all its outlines. However, people of Damascus made considerable efforts to build the mosque again.


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