Templum Domini and Palatium Salomonis
In the area which today is occupied by the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Enclosure), there was, at the time of Jesus the Temple reconstructed by King Herod the Great and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Toward the end of the seventh century the caliph Abd al-Malik had built the Qubbat al-Sakhrah (Dome of the Rock) and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Crusaders changed the Dome of the Rock into a church, the Templum Domini, adding to it a cross on the dome and iron railings for the protection of the Rock from the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims believed to be the summit of Mount Moriah where Abraham came from Hebron to sacrifice his son Isaac. The al-Aqsa Mosque became the abode of the first Latin kings of Jerusalem (Palatium Salomonis), with the addition of a front portico. Subsequently it passed to the Templar Knights who constructed their monastery to the west of the Mosque (today the Islamic Museum).
On the outside, the Qubbat al-Silsilah (Dome of the Chain), where the public treasury was kept, became a chapel dedicated to St. James the Little, first bishop of Jerusalem.
At the time of the crusade, the Baptistery of the church was perhaps the Qubbat al-Miraj (Dome of the Ascension of Muhammad), on the western side of the square.
In the eastern wall of the square can be seen the double door of Bab al-Rahmah (the door of Mercy) or of Bab al-Taubah (door of Penitence) known by the Christian pilgrims as the Golden Gate. In the crusader period this was opened on Palm Sunday to allow the entry of the procession presided over by the Patriarch which came from the Mount of Olives. It was closed for good by the Muslims after 1187.