Y. Rachlin

Reconstruction drawing an Omayyad caliph’s palace from the seventh or eighth century. An enormous building, 300 feet long and 25O feet wide, the palace had an immense central courtyard (see detail drawing) and a roof bridge that gave the caliph direct access to the Al Aqsa mosque (seen at top right).

The palace was part of a large-scale building complex that included an adjacent identical building and a bathhouse. Devastated by an earthquake in 747, this magnificent achievement of Moslem architecture was then buried by newer buildings erected by the Abbassids, the dynasty that succeeded the Omayyads. It remained unknown for 1,200 years, until Israeli archaeologists brought it to light.