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"Shrine of John the Baptist" Top 5 Page for this destination Omayyad Mosque Tip by iwys

Omayyad Mosque, Damascus: 79 reviews and 227 photos

Before it was turned into the Umayyad Mosque in the 7th century, this was the site of the 4th century Byzantine Church of St. John the Baptist. Today, the head of John the Baptist is enshrined, beneath a dome, in a marble mausoleum. This is reputedly the same head that was served to Salome on a platter, although other places, including Aleppo and even Halifax in England, also claim to have it.

John the Baptist was born in Judaea in 5 BC and beheaded by order of King Herod around 33 AD, after the 14-y-o Salome had demanded his head on a platter. John's role, according to the Bible, was to announce the coming of Jesus and he was the man who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. He is venerated by Muslims as the prophet Yahya and is mentioned in the Quran.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 14, 2007
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