Initially completed in 691–92 CE at the order of the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, the original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23. Its octagonal plan and mosaics were modelled on nearby Byzantine churches and palaces, although its outside appearance has been significantly changed in the Ottoman period and again in the modern period.
When Haag painted these views, neither he nor any other non-Muslim had free access to the interior of the Dome or to its precincts. However, as Haag's inscriptions attest, it appears he painted these works in situ. After settling in England Haag enjoyed the patronage of Queen Victoria through whose offices Haag may have received special dispensation to visit these holy sites in 1859.
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