Temple, Jerusalem Most significant shrine of the Jews, originally located on a hilltop known as Temple Mount in what is now East Jerusalem. There have been three temples on the site. The first was built (10th century bc) by order of Solomon as a repository for the Ark of the Covenant. In c.587 bc, it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. In c.515 bc, a second temple was erected by the Jewish exiles who had returned from Babylon in 537 bc. Between 19 and 9 bc, this second temple was replaced by a more elaborate structure on the orders of Herod the Great; it was destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish rebellion of ad 70. It has never been rebuilt, but part of its ruins remain as a place of pilgrimage and prayer, known as the Western Wall. Part of the ancient temple site is occupied by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, both built in the late 7th century.
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