Dome of the Chain

Temple Mount

The Dome of the Chain is a small but historically significant structure on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Built during the early Islamic period in the 7th century, the dome is one of the few remaining examples of early Islamic architecture in the city.

Dome of the Chain and the Dome of the Rock Behind It.

First, the Dome of the Chain is located near the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and is believed to have been built around the same time. It is a circular structure, measuring 14 meters in diameter, and is supported by 12 columns that form an inner ring. Its exact historical use and significance are under scholarly debate.

Jerusalem Ultimate Guide

Furthermore, the dome gets its name from the chain that hangs from its center, which tradition holds was used to measure the length of the Prophet Muhammad’s staff. According to legend, the chain was suspended from the dome by angels and was said to be a symbol of justice and divine authority.

Erected in 691-92 CE, the Dome of the Chain Is One of the Oldest Surviving Structures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. The Umayyads built it, Became a Christian Chapel Under the Crusaders, Was Restored as an Islamic Prayer House by the Ayyubids, and Has Been Renovated by the Mamluks, Ottomans, and Jordanian-Based Waqf.

Temple Mt.
Credit: Leon Petrosyan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the dome’s interior is decorated with intricate stucco work featuring geometric patterns and calligraphy. The stucco work is believed to date back to the original construction of the dome and is a testament to the skill and artistry of early Islamic craftsmen.

So the Dome of the Chain has played an important role in the history of Jerusalem. It was a meeting place for Muslim scholars and judges and public gatherings and ceremonies. Furthermore, during the Crusades, the dome was used as a Christian chapel and later served as a mosque during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods.

In conclusion, the Dome of the Chain is open to visitors, who can explore the beautiful interior of the dome and learn about its rich history and significance to the Muslim faith.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

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