It was apparently constructed during the reign of the Umayyad caliph El-Walid I (705-715 CE) and was destroyed in the earthquake of 749 CE. It was used as the seat of caliphate during the caliph's visits to the city of Jerusalem.
This palace measures 96 x 84 m. and is surrounded by a three meter-thick protective wall, constructed of large, trimmed stones, many in secondary use from the collapsed Herodian walls of the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount). Two main gates, one facing east and one facing west, gave access to the palace. A broad, stone-paved courtyard in the center of the building was surrounded by rows of columns supporting the roofing of the porticoes. Many of the columns came from Byzantine churches, as evidenced by traces of engraved crosses on them. The rooms around the central courtyard were paved with small stone slabs and mosaic. Plaster, decorated with geometric designs and floral motifs, covered the exceptionally thick walls.
A bridge was built from the roof of this palace to the Haram, providing direct access to the Al-Aksa mosque.
|Latest Update: September 09, 2015|