The most sacred spot on Earth, revered by all Muslims is the Kabah, in the city of Makkah (or Mecca). You will only be able to see this holy place if you are Muslim.
Despite it's religious importance the building is quite simple, built of grey stone and marble and covered most of the year with a black cloth called the kiswa. It is roughly cube shaped and about 13 metres (40 feet) tall. The internal layout of the building is open, supported by three pillars with the corners facing north, south, east and west.
In the eastern corner sits the "Black Stone of Makkah", a piece of rock embedded in a silver casing, which was allegedly given to Adam upon his expulsion from Eden, to absorb his sins. It is said that it was originally brilliant white but it has been darkened by the accumulation of sin. On a rock in front of the Kabah are the preserved footprints of Abraham, or Ibrahim.
The Kabah is the centrepoint of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah that every Muslim in the world is supposed to perform at least once in his lifetime. Pilgrims circle the structure seven times, trying to get close enough to the Black Stone to kiss it. It is also customary for Muslims to kneel down five times a day to pray facing Makkah and to bury their dead facing the city.
Muslim legend states that the construction of the Kabah took place in several stages and important religious figures were involved during these stages. Adam is meant to have been the original architect and the Kabah is said to have been the first house built by man to worship God.
The city is the birthplace of the Prophet and site of the first revelation of the Quran. The Kabah is ultra-sacred and totally forbidden to non Muslims as is the whole city which has been declared a haram or sanctuary. There are strict rules governing eating, hunting, clothing and speech inside the city. To enter Makkah without wearing the Ihram, or pilgrim's outfit, for example, the defaulter must make an animal sacrifice.