Syria: Damascus – Inside the Umayyad Mosque

The inside of the Umayyad Mosque consists of two grand areas – the colonnaded courtyard and the covered sanctuary or haram. The courtyard is surrounded by four arcades with Roman-like double arch columns. The wall and ceiling decorations are just surreal and mindblowing with absolutely stunning intricate details. You just walk there in absolute awe, stunned by the atmosphere and the views. The sanctuary has a totally different feel – dark and damp – you walk around on the carpets among the worshippers and toward the central shrine housing the remains of supposedly John the Baptist. It’s worth pointing out, that tourists are welcome into the mosque, unlike in many Islamic institutions in other countries.