The Southern Arched Gate

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The Arched Gates (البوائك) or Gateways, also known as Qanatir (قناطر) and The Scales (الموازين) (according to some, the scales will be suspended on these arches or in place of these arches on the Day of Judgement), comprise a number of stones or marble columns that are linked together through arches surrounding the Dome of the Rock Platform. Each gate is connected to a staircase to facilitate worshipers' access to the four-meter-high platform. The gates additionally serve a decorative function.

These arches also represent the different eras Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa has witnessed over the centuries, such as the Umayyad, Mamluk, Abbasids, and Fatimid eras.

The Southern Arched Gate

The arched gates located on the southern side of the Dome of the Rock platform consist of four arches in the center.

This arched gate was first built during the Abbasid era and subsequently renovated twice; once during the Fatimid era and once by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1311 AH/1893 AD. It consists of two stone pillars intersected by three marble columns topped with a number of arches. The gate has a sundial (inspect) that was carved in the middle of its southern facade in 1325 AH/1907 AD, by architect Eng. Rushdi Imam of the Supreme Islamic Council. This distinguished feature is not present in no other arched gate surrounding the Dome of the Rock.

There is an additional arched gate on the southern platform of the Dome of the Rock (see the Southeastern Arched Gate).


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