David Rubinger/Discover Magazine 1981

The golden dome of the Mosque of Omar rises above the Temple Mount. In the plaza below, divided by a screen into a men’s section on the left and a women’s section, Jews gather to pray next to the large Herodian ashlars of the Western Wall. This 185-foot-section of Herod’s western retaining wall is revered by Jews because of its proximity to the place on the Temple Mount where once the Temple stood.

The dark archway on the left, closest to the Western Wall, is the entrance to a large Jewish prayer hall. Part of the ceiling of this hall is formed by a huge arch which, in Herod’s day, supported the eastern end of a bridge spanning the Tyropoeon valley and connecting the Temple Mount to the Upper City. A visitor may enter the arched room and, with permission, continue from there into the recently excavated underground tunnel along the western wall.