Travel guidebooks for the ultra curious, Approach Guides reveal a destination’s essence by exploring a compelling aspect of its cultural heritage: art, architecture, history, food, or wine.
Jerusalem is the crossroads of the world’s three great Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This Approach Guide provides unique looks at two of the most important religious structures in the old city, the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Islamic Dome of the Rock.
For the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, this guide explores the changes that it has undergone through the ages in response to adversity and changing requirements. Specifically, the guide examines the how the present Church’s architectural layout relates to the three earlier edifices that occupied this site: the enormous 4th century Constantinian Church (built 336-345); the rebuilt, modest 11th century crusader Church; and the expanded 12th century crusader Church. We offer floorplans of each iteration, a review of the most meaningful changes implemented with each, and when relevant, the historical background underlying such changes. The guide even points out those features from earlier Churches that are still visible, so you can get a clear sense as you visit of what the Church was like at earlier points in its history.
Atop the Haram Es-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) or Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock is one of the most emblematic structures in the world. This guide provides a full review of this Islamic shrine, including its history, architecture, decoration, and political significance. Particular attention is paid to those elements borrowed from the Byzantine architectural and decorational tradition that were repurposed to forge an entirely new, Islamic aesthetic.
Finally, given the Temple Mount’s importance to Jerusalem’s religious landscape, this Approach Guide concludes with a brief discussion of its pre-Islamic history -- including overviews of the Jewish Temples and the Western Wall -- and profiles of its other relevant Islamic structures.
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What started as one couple’s travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become ApproachGuides.com — a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers. What’s hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor’s famous temple structures in Cambodia.