The Saudi Arabian city of Mecca is the most holy site in Islam. It was built around a natural well, and is said to be the first place God created. In Islamic tradition, Ibrahim and his son Ismael built the Ka'ba here, a rectangular brick structure which now stands in the centre of the great mosque, Masjid al-Haram. Mecca was already a significant trade hub when Muhammad was born there in 570.
Today, Mecca is a modern and cosmopolitan city of 2 million people.