There is probably no other place on Earth that has been argued, disputed and fought over than the Temple on the Mount.
The massive open stone plaza dotted with Cypress trees was built over the Biblical Mount Moriah. In Jewish tradition it is the foundation stone of the world itself.
In the Talmud it was also the place where Adam, Noah, Cain and Abel performed ritual sacrifices and also the spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac to slaughter in the supreme test of faith. It also marked the spot of Solomon’s first temple where the Arc of the Covenant was housed. It was also believed to be the site of the second temple destroyed by the Romans in 66AD, who subsequently erected a temple to Zeus which was later usurped by Christians.
However to the Moslems, it marks the spot where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to Heaven (miraj) in the 7th Century, making it the third most holy pilgrim site for Moslems after Mecca and Medina. The Dome of the Rock was completed in 691 AD and the centre-piece is said to cover the sacrificial rock used by Abraham. It is simply stunning.
Theoretically only Moslems can enter, but i am invited inside by a taxi driver for baksheesh.
The Temple Mount can only be entered between 7.30am – 11am Sunday to Thursday easily accessible from Dung Gate. For me it is the highlight of any trip in Jerusalem.