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The Umayyad Mosque

Al-Hamidiya, Damascus, Syria
In the same way that Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, so is the Umayyad Mosque which is the oldest existing place of worship in the world.

The site of the mosque had been once a magnificent Aramaean temple dedicated to their god "Hadad".

During the Hellenistic Period, the Aramaic temple was turned into the temple of Zeus, only to be turned later into the temple of Jupiter during the Roman period.

In the second half of the 4th century and during the Byzantine Period, a church dedicated to John the Baptist was constructed in the western part of the inner temple courtyard.

Finally, at the beginning of the 8th century, the Umayyad ruler Al-Walid Bin Abdul Malik turned the whole site into the mosque that graces Damascus old city today.

Worshippers from all religions visit the mosque to pray next to the tomb of John the Baptist as well the shrine of Imam Al-Hussein, grandson of the prophet.
Historical Periods: Aramaeans, Byzantine Period, Hellenistic Period, Roman Period, Umayyads

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