The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus is the earliest Islamic monument still extant after the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. As with the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque boasts a large volume of mosaic decoration of the highest quality that is believed to have been carried out by Byzantine artisans given the similarities of the technique and motifs with high-quality Byzantine commissions of the same era. The most notable difference is that there is a complete absence of figural imagery in the Islamic monuments. In the case of the Umayyad Mosque the decoration is particularly intriguing as it depicts a range of landscapes both urban and pastoral, all entirely without living creatures. This has led many commentators to argue that it represents a vision of paradise, with others arguing instead for an idealised representation of Damascus. Whether or not these interpretations are correct, the mosaicists appear familiar with Roman architecture, with porticoed late Roman villas appearing prominently in the decoration, meaning that the mosaics demonstrate a continuity with earlier artistic forms rather than a definitive break with the past. In many ways the decorative scheme is far more conservative than that of the Dome of the Rock, which predates is by over twenty years.
The Mount of Olives is situated on a mountain ridge to the east of the old city of Jerusalem and it was so called as it was covered with olive trees in antiquity. The Mount offers good views of the east of Jerusalem, most notably the Haram al Sherif complex, including the Al Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Dome of the Chain and the eastern city walls.
The Austrian Hospice is located within the old city of Jerusalem on the via Dolorosa to the north of the city. It is situated high above the surrounding area and it therefore offers great views of the city. These photographs were taking looking southwards to the Dome of the Rock and eastwards towards the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Jerusalem’s Citadel, also known as the Tower of David, is located to the west of the city, close to the Jaffa Gate. These photographs are taken from the museum with views north-eastwards towards the domes of the church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Lutheran church of the Redeemer and eastwards towards the Dome of the Rock and the Mount of Olives.
The church of the Redeemer was built in the late 19th Century above the site of the church St. Mary Minor. Today, visitors are able to walk up the tower for the most wonderful 360° views of the city. This is a collection of photographs with views towards the Dome of the Rock, the Mount of Olives, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the rooftops of Jerusalem.