Garo Nalbandian

Below the marble arch in the foreground, a tenth-century stairway leads down to the cave beneath the sacred rock called as-Sahra in Arabic. The roof of the cave—in some places as much as six feet thick—is visible through the transparent barrier adjoining the wooden enclosure. A shaft through the rock is indicated by the light on the top of the rock coming through the roof of the cave. The nearly rectangular cave (24 x 23 x 8 feet high) was used by the Crusaders as a place of confession before the Moslems regained control of the mosque.