Dome of al-Aqsa

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The present-day dome of Masjid al-Aqsa (قبة المسجد الأقصى) was built by az-Zahir and consists of wood plated with lead enamelwork. Nothing remains of the original dome built by Abd al-Malik.


Dome of al-Aqsa is the lead sheeted dome over al-Aqsa mosque. It is one of the several domes on Haram al-Sharif.



In 1969, the dome was reconstructed in concrete and covered with anodized aluminum, instead of the original ribbed lead enamel work sheeting.

In 1983 CE, the aluminum outer covering was replaced with lead to match the original design by az-Zahir. The program of this extensive conservation began with the damaged dome and its paintings.

Current Architecture


Jameh al-Qibli
The dome is essentially part of a smaller section of the larger mosque, called the al-Qibli mosque. The interior of the dome is painted with 14th-century-era decorations. Beneath the dome is the Al-Qibli Chapel (Arabic: المصلى القبلي‎ al-Musalla al-Qibli); also known as al-Jami' al-Qibli (الجامع القِبْلي)‎, a Muslim prayer hall, located in the southern part of the mosque. al-Aqsa's dome is one of the few domes to be built in front of the mihrab during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, the others being the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (715) and the Great Mosque of Sousse (850).


A great portion of the mosque is covered with whitewash, but the drum of the dome and the walls immediately beneath it are decorated with mosaics and marble. The 14th-century painted decorations of the dome interior, thought to be irreparably lost, were brought to light and completely reconstructed using the trateggio technique, a method that uses fine vertical lines to distinguish reconstructed areas from original ones.

See Also


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