009- A view of the Dome of the Rock through the northern arcade. Structurally, the building uses the phonetic vocabulary of columns, arches, piers, entablatures etc. as it existed in the Mediterranean world. In plan especially, precedents can be found in earlier churches like that of Ravenna. However, the Dome of the Rock is also a unique building which breaks off the tradition of its predecessors. This it does in many ways: it is unique in its geometry and absolute equality of all faces. Even more ground breaking is the complete sheathing of the building, especially outside, in decoration. Decorating a building on the outside hardly had any precedents at the time.