To approach the eastern colonnade, one must leave the Dome of the Chain and walk several meters east, where a series of arches are found in the center of the eastern wall of the Dome of the Rock.


Nature of the Colonnade


There are eight colonnades around the  of the Dome of the Rock platfrom: one on the eastern side, two in the southern wall, three in the western wall and two in the northern wall. These colonnades are  monumental structures, but they also serve as transient areas between the level of the Dome of the Rock and the level of the al-Jami’ al-Aqsa. These colonnades were called ‘Bawa’ik’ (plural of ‘Ba’ika’) and ‘Maraqi’ (plural of ‘Mirqa’) and ‘Mawazin’ (plural of ‘Mizan’). The latter name, means balance, was attributed to simple and common peoplewho belief that Jerusalem is the site of Judgment Day and that these  arcades appeared like the two halves of the scale, as if judging people’s actions on Judgment Day.


The Eastern Colonnade is not dated, but it is most likely from the 11th century AD (4th century H). Architecturally, the Eastern Colonnade comprises a series of five arches supported by four columns in the middle and one pier on each side.

The Eastern Colonnade