The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus (Arabic: جامع بني أمية الكبير, Ğāmi’ Banī ‘Umayya al-Kabīr), located in the old city of Damascus, is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered by some Muslims to be the fourth-holiest place in Islam.
Shrine of Yayha ibn Zakariya (Saint John the Baptist) in the Umayyad Mosque - Damascus, Syria
Saint John (or Yahya) is a revered figure & prophet in both Islam & Christianity. It’s believed that his head is inside the shrine. Syrians of all faiths (& many foreigners too) make pilgrimage to the shrine.
Ten years ago, the 11th century minaret of the Umayyad Mosque stood in splendor above the city of Damascus, Syria. Today, the wreckage of the mosque offers a stark reminder of the cultural loss the world has experienced over the last ten years, as iconic spiritual sites have been destroyed as a result of war, short-sighted economic expansion and natural disasters.