It was constructed on the site of an ancient Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist between 706 and 715. The mosque was especially known for its three minarets, the Minaret of the Bride, the Minaret of Jesus and the Minaret of the West.
- Each of the three minarets of the Umayyad Mosque serves as a view point. The highest view point in Damascus is located atop the Minaret of the Bride. In reality, the tallest minaret of the Umayyad Mosque is currently the Minaret of Jesus, but it had not yet been constructed in 1191, the year that the game takes place.  Each of the three minarets in the game appear to be modeled after their real-life counterparts albeit altered because neither the Minaret of Jesus nor the Western Minaret had been erected at the time.
- After the Ottomans conquered Damascus in 1516, Selim I attended the first Friday prayer in the Umayyad Mosque.
- During Damascus' Roman period, the ancient building served as a temple for Jupiter.
- In 1196, a mausoleum for Saladin was built next to the northwest corner of the mosque.