Holy Mosque in Makkah
The religious center of the Holy City of Makkah is the Haram Mosque (al Masjid al Haram) and the well of Zamzam. The present Haram, meaning "sanctuary", dates from 1570 CE (978 AH), and takes the form of a central quadrangle surrounded by stone walls. Around the inner sanctuary is a marble pavement, the al-Mataf. The holiest shrine of Islam, the Kaaba, is situated at the heart of the Holy Mosque's central courtyard. The Haram Mosque (al Masjid al Haram) has a long and glorious tradition of expansion, dating back to 638 CE (7 AH) when the ever increasing number of Muslims led the second caliph, Umar bin al-Khattab, to develop the site.
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