Jerusalem Archaeological Park
The Earthquake of 1033 CE

Several earthquakes shook the country in Islamic times. The worst earthquake occurred on December 5, 1033, affecting the whole country. Contemporary chroniclers described in detail the consequences of this devastating earthquake, focusing on the damage caused to Jerusalem. The southern wall of the Temple Mount was destroyed and mihrab Daud, which was located either in the north of the Temple Mount or near Jaffa Gate, had collapsed.
The Fatimid caliph Al-Dhahir initiated large-scale restoration works in the damaged cities, especially in Ramla and Jerusalem. The restoration works in Jerusalem were the most extensive in its history. In the Dome of the Rock new wooden beams were affixed to support the dome. These beams are still visible today. New, splendorous mosaics covered the walls and tympanum. The Al-Aqsa Mosque also underwent restoration, which included new, magnificent mosaics on the walls and on the arch in front of the dome. The latter mosaic bears an inscription indicating the date of the restoration 1035 CE. In addition to the mosaics, wooden beams, decorated in a variety of colors, were incorporated in the ceiling of the Mosque. These wooden beams were recovered during restoration works in the Mosque in the 1930s. Other structures restored by Al-Dhahir are 'Solomon's Stables' and the outer walls of the Temple Mount enclosure, especially the southern wall.
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