National Geographic Story UNDER THE DOME Explores The Dome on the Rock

~ NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Cover Story “UNDER THE DOME” Explores the Architectural Wonder – The Dome on the Rock ~

The September issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC launches online today, offering a rare window into Jerusalem’s most beautiful and controversial landmarks, The Dome Of the Rock.  Author Andrew Lawler and Photographer Ziyah Gafic were granted unprecedented access to the site and share the history, architectural prowess, and the current understanding of the holy site, including the contentious  claim that the shine was built during a rare time of peace between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and welcomed followers of all three faiths.

“The Dome of the Rock sits in the middle of the most complicated geopolitical knot in the world,” shares Lawler. “It took more than a year of negotiations with Jordanian government officials in Amman and Washington, and Muslim clerics in Jerusalem, before National Geographic could even set foot within the premises. Then we received once-in-a-lifetime access to the site, from the cave beneath to the dome above. This article gives a rare glimpse into one of the most contested buildings in history. We hope the story helps readers better understand its unique mix of beauty and spiritual as well as political complexity.”

The Dome Of the Rock, also known as the Temple Mount, is Jerusalem’s most beautiful—and controversial—landmark. The shrine is the third holiest site in the Muslim world, the most holy site in Judaism, and one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Yet the purpose of the famous gold-domed shrine remains a mystery. To Palestinians, it’s linked to independence. To some Jews and Christians, it’s an abomination fated to be destroyed. Treasure hunters have sought the Ark of the Covenant they believe is hidden beneath it, while European Crusaders mistook it for Solomon’s Temple and converted it to a Christian church. Today, the site has become a famous media backdrop for prayer, protests, and riots, even as conservators struggle to restore its fading glory.

National Geographic’s September issue featuring The Dome on the Rock is available now online, and hits newsstands later this month. 

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