Inside the Dome of the Eagle (Qubbat Al-Nisr) Umayyad Mosque, Damascus.
The Dome of the Eagle (Qubbat Al-Nisr) is considered one of the architectural highlights of the Omayyad Mosque. It was so named because the architect who built it imagined the dome as the head of an eagle, the tracepts as it's body and the aisles at its right and left as its outspread wings. The Arab historian Ibn Jubayr wrote that whoever looks at this dome from a certain distance has the impression of seeing an eagle, whose head is formed by the cupola, its body by the prayer hall, and its wings by the walls on its right and left.
Source: E. Claire Grimes, A guide to Damascus, Avicenne Bookshop, 1997
The interior of the mosque is mainly plain white although it contains some fragmentary mosaics and other geometric patterns.
Damascus is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and the Umayyad Mosque stands on a site that has been considered sacred ground for at least 3,000 years. The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus, is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, being completed in 715 AD. The spot where the mosque now stands was a temple of Hadad in the Aramean era. The site was later a temple of Jupiter in the Roman era, then a Christian church dedicated to John the Baptist in the Byzantine era, before finally becoming a mosque.
Credit: jemasmith / Flickr