Solomon's Stables was an underground vaulted space now used as a Muslim prayer hall at the bottom of stairs which lead down from the al-Aqsa Mosque, under the Temple Mount, to the base of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. Solomon's Stables are located under the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount, 12½ metres below the courtyard and feature twelve rows of pillars and arches. In December 1996 the Jerusalem Islamic Waq (an Islamic religious trust) converted the area into a prayer hall by adding lights and floor tiles, and renamed it the Marwani Prayer Hall.
The structure is most widely said to have been built by King Herod as part of his extension of the platform of the Temple Mount southward onto the Ophel. The Herodian engineers constructed the enormous platform as a series of vaulted arches in order to reduce pressure on the retaining walls. These vaults were originally storage areas of the Second Temple. A great deal of the original interior survives in the area of the Herodian staircases, although not in the area now renovated for use as a mosque. Visitors are rarely permitted to enter the areas with Herodian finishes.
The underground space for the most part remained empty except for the Crusaders period. The Crusaders converted it in 1099 into a stable for the cavalry. The rings for tethering horses can still be seen on some of the pillars. The structure has been called Solomon's Stables since Crusader times as a historical composite. 'Solomon's' refers to the First Temple built on the site, while the 'stables' refers to the functional usage of the space by the Crusaders in the time of Baldwin II (King of Jerusalem 1118-1131 CE).References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.