Hagia Sophia vs Dome of the Rock

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Religion has always played an important role in the development of art and architecture. They serve as a bridge between the real world and the divine world, and mirror religious views of people and the major beliefs of the society. Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock are two of the greatest and the most important architectural monuments in the world. Even though two of the most historical mosques, Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock, are built for different religions, but due to a sharing purpose, which being praying to God, the difference can barely be noticed. By sharing a purpose, both structures act as a shrine for different religions to reach God. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of…show more content…
1 Groupico Another important architectural monument, the Dome of the Rock, is not only the third most important shrine of Islam, but also the most magnificent architectural monument of the Middle East. It is a mosque located in Jerusalem built between 691 and 692 by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik. The place this mosque is built on is sacred to both, Muslims and Jews. According to Muslims, Muhammad ascended into heaven from here and the Jews believe that Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac here. Both inside and outside of the mosque holds magnificent beauty, elegance, and color. The structure is an octagonal exterior wall placed under a golden dome. The bright arabesque patterning that decorates the exterior of the building, not only catches the eye, but also greatly contrasts the plain exteriors of Christian Basilicas. “The surface decoration of the interior of the Dome of the Rock has 240 metres of inscription — mainly verses from the Qur’an — just below the ceiling on both faces of the inner octagon. The main bulk of the interior decoration of the Dome of the Rock, however, is the mosaic work.” 2 Once inside, the rock that the pilgrims’ have come to see, sits directly in the center of the structure with mosaics and Arabic calligraphy decorating the walls surrounding. To understand the differences between these two architectural monuments, we need to understand some basic key values of Islamic Art and

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