Mount of Olives - Chapel (Mosque) of the Ascension
Located at the highest point of Jerusalem, is the Chapel of Ascension. Erected by Queen Helena in the year 392 AD, this Chapel (or Mosque) marks the site where Jesus ascended into heaven. Since the time of its construction, the octogonal shrine has undergone many facelifts. Destroyed by the Persians in the year 614 AD, the Church was eventually reconstructed to its present day dimensions by the Crusaders. The site was ultimately acquired by two emissaries of Saladin in the year 1198 and has remained in the possession of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem ever since. The Crusader building was converted to a mosque but was never used by Muslims since the overwhelming majority of visitors were Christian. As a gesture of compromise and goodwill, Saladin ordered the construction of a second mosque and minaret two years later next to the Chapel for Muslim worship, while Christians continued to visit the main Chapel. In the center of the main dome is a stone bearing the worn footprint of Christ as he ascended into heaven. During the Byzantine period, pilgrims were allowed to walk off with pieces of the stone. In the nearly two millenium since the ascension, countless visitors have inflicted a heavy toll on the poor old footprint.
The complementary mosque of Saladin with minaret