Richard Nowitz

The Temple Mount has been the focus of Jerusalem both ancient and modern. The site was home to Solomon’s Temple, to the Temple built by the returnees from the Babylonian Exile and to Herod the Great’s refurbished Temple. What remains on the 36-acre Temple Mount platform today is the result of two major building efforts: The first began in about 20 B.C.E., when Herod initiated a massive expansion of the Temple grounds; the second occurred under the Umayyad caliphs in the late seventh century C.E. This view shows the golden Dome of the Rock (center) and the lead-domed al-Aqsa Mosque (far left) and the eastern wall from the Mount of Olives.