Temple Mount (Jerusalem model) 1357

A model of Herod's Temple

During the eighteenth year of his reign, King Herod refurbished the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem on a more magnificent scale. The new Temple had the same dimensions as that of Solomon's Temple which was destroyed by the Babylonians many years earlier. Since only priests from the Israelite tribe of Levite could only work in the Temple, Herod hired them to rebuild the Temple as builders and carpenters.

The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE following a Jewish revolt which resulted not only in the destruction of the Temple but the exile of the Jewish people from the land of Israel. The only part of the Temple of Herod left standing was one of the outer walls known as the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall, which has become one of the most important locations in Judaism.

A few hundred years later, Muslims conquered Jerusalem and mosques known as the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa were built on the site of the Jewish temples, as Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are also considered holy in Islam.

Today, many Jews still mourn the loss of the Temple and pray for it to be rebuilt at the Western Wall.