In the Muristan area of the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, just opposite the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, you will find the Mosque of Omar.
Its distinctive square minaret, 15 meters tall, was built in the 1460s.
The minaret was renovated by Ottoman sultan Abdulmecid I in the mid 19th century.
(All photos can be much enlarged, to see, for instance, the big loudspeakers atop the minaret for the call to prayer.)
The mosque was built in 1193.
As you can read on the beautiful gate, it is "For Prayers Only," meaning non-Muslims may not enter.
It is a very tight corner in the narrow lanes of the Old City and I could not back up enough to capture the gate in one shot.
Sacred Destinations explains why the Mosque of Omar was built:
After a brief and bloodless seige, Muslims seized control of Jerusalem from the Byzantines in February 638. Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab accepted the city's surrender from Patriarch Sophronius in person.
Omar was shown the great Church of the Holy Sepulchre and offered a place to pray in it, but he refused. He knew that if he prayed in the church, it would set a precedent that would lead to the building's transformation into a mosque. He instead prayed on the steps outside, allowing the church to remain a Christian holy place.
The Omar Mosque was built near the site of these events in 1193 by Saladin's son Aphdal Ali.
This means that we have Caliph Omar to thank, because his actions after his takeover of Jerusalem ensured that the Holy Sepulchre would remain open to Christian worship.
UPDATE: In 1172 the Crusaders added a beautiful bell tower, 29 meters high (!), to the Holy Sepulchre.
After Saladin’s arrival in 1187, the 18 bells that had chimed the hours and announced the services were melted down and not replaced until the 19th century, when the current ones were installed.
An earthquake in 1545 caused a collapse of the upper parts of the bell tower, but the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem refused to authorize its reconstruction.
The truncated bell tower has been dwarfed ever since by the 15-meter minaret of the adjacent Mosque of Omar.
P.S. Jerusalem had a rare snowfall! If you haven't seen my posts of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you are welcome to enjoy snow pictures there.
(Linking to Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors and to OurWorld Tuesday.)