Temperature
24/11/2017
10ºC
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Al-Suwud (Ascension) Dome Mosque

Al-Suwud (Ascension) Dome Mosque

Al-Suwud (Ascension) Dome Mosque

To arrive at this station, one should return to the main road and walk a few meters to the curve, where a small, humble minaret can be seen, preceded by a few ascending steps.

 

Al-Su’wud referred to the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, which was mentioned in three books of the New Testament, without specifying a spot where the act took place. The Ascension was also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself, and Allah is exalted in power and wisdom.’ (al-Nisa’ 158).

 

Christian sects celebrate this event on a Thursday in May, referred to as "(Ascension Thursday).

 

The Ascension Dome is a monumental  site in Jerusalem, commemorating Christ’s ascension to heaven after rising from the dead, according to Christian belief. During the days of persecution prior to the spread of Christianity, Christians celebrated the ascension secretly inside a cave on the Mount of Olives. The first church commemorating the Ascension was built during the Byzantine era, in 374 AD. However, nothing remains of this church at present. During the Franks era, the old round plan was replaced with an octagonal plan, surrounded by a fortified convent. During this period, religious celebrations of this occasion deepened.

 

Converting the Dome into a Mosque

After Salah al-Din (Saladin) liberated Jerusalem in 1187 AD (583 H), what remained of this dome was converted to a mosque, and remained an Islamic endowment (Waqf) until this day. The site is currently managed by the Islamic Awqaf Department and is treated like any other holy site, facilitating visits for Christian sects during religious holidays and normal days. The Department has recently  restored the dome and the surrounding courtyard, and continues to maintain it.

 

Many Crusader architectural and ornamental elements were preserved by the restortions carried out during the Salah al-Din era, including column capitales and marble columns. A mihrab (prayer niche) was added in the southern side of the octagon. Walls that were open between columns were closed, and the  pavements seem to have been maintained as well.

 

Dome’s Plan

The current dome plan is octagonal. Marble columns with capitals ornamented with flora and fauna motifs are located in each corner of the octagon. The dome is semi spherical, resting on a circular  drum which rests directly on the octagon’s sides. The interior is accessed through a door facing west. The interior floor is covered with small stone tiles. The location known as ‘Christ’s Foot’ is surrounded by a long stone frame. 

Al-Suwud (Ascension) Dome Mosque
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