The Great Mosque (The Umayyad Mosque)
site of the Great Mosque is the former Agora from the Hellenistic
period, which later became the garden for the Cathedral of St.
Helena, during the Christian era.
It was built by the Umayyad Caliph al Walid, who had earlier
founded the Great
Mosque in Damascus. It was completed in 717 by his successor
Caliph Suleiman. Nur al Din later rebuilt it in 1169 after a great
fire and the Mamelukes made further alterations. This mosque has an
enormous 45-meter minaret, which is completely detached from it,
built by the Seljuks in 1070.
the main entrance, a large court can be seen with pillared arcades,
which are substitutions for the original ones in the Damascus
mosque. Another series of arches can be found in the façade of
the prayer hall, which were built by the Mamelukes. The façade is
well decorated with intricately cut and various colored stones. A
composition of white marble and inlaid basalt can be seen on the
main door. As for the minbar, which is the pulpit on which the
Sheikh stands when preaching, it is very beautifully carved out of
wood and probably dates back to the 15th century.
the prayer hall, to the left of the mihrab is a finely tiled chamber
that is said to hold the head of Zechariah, the father of John the