Akko
The Crusaders City of Acre


Akko is known by many names and spellings. Acco is one of them and in English and Latin languages it is known as Acre.

It is one of the oldest cities in the world that have been constantly inhabited. It is important to mention that it is the place of birth of the Bahai Religion.

Acco is one of three Israel sites declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Aerial view of the Walled City of Acre


On the northern tip of Haifa Bay

The city is a port that in ancient history was as important as Alexandria in Egypt or Constantinople in Turkey.

Today is like any other Israeli city but with an important presence of Arabs of many denominations like Christians, Muslims and Druze.From Akko you can have a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Haifa Israel on the other side of Haifa Bay.

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Khan El Umdan was a meeting place for Caravans with grain


Places of Interest in Akko

  • Khan El Umdan
    Meaning in English Inn of the Pillars is an 18th century meeting place for caravans bringing grain from the Galilee.
    The structure has Herodian Pillars brought from Caesarea.
    The clock was added later in honor of Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid.

  • Subterranean Crusaders City
    Across from the mosque you can walk down several levels and see how the Turks built many levels over the Crusaders city.
    The Knights’ Hall is the most beautiful of all, which was used by the Crusaders for ceremonies. Today the main hall is used for concerts.

  • Bahai Gardens
    The tomb of Baha U llah, the prophet of the Bahai faith is buried outside the city on the road to Nahariya.
    The gardens are well kept and manicured as in the Bahai World Center in Haifa.

  • The Templar Tunnel
    The Poor Knights of Christ known as the Templar built this tunnel on the second half of the 12th Century.
    It was discovered in 1994 and it’s open to the public.

The Bahai Gardens in Acre
Resting place of Baha U llah, the prophet of the Bahai faith


Akko Attractions

  • The Hammam
    Pasha’s Turkish Bathhouse built with Turkish tiles and a domed roof with glass circles and marble floors was a magnificent bathhouse in its time.

  • Museum of the Underground Prisoners
    Built on the ruins of the citadel of Dahr El Omar of the Byzantine times was later rebuilt by Ahmad Pasha El Jazzar. When the British conquered the city in 1918 they converted to a prison.

Underground Prisoners Museum in Akko


History of Akko

During the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, the city of Acre was incorporated into his empire. Then it was conquered Egyptian King Ptolemy II which renamed it as Ptolemais. On the 7th Century CE with the Muslim conquest, the name was restored to the city.

The Crusaders conquered the Land in 1104 and renamed the city to St Jean d’Acre or plain Acre. The Latin Kingdom of the Crusaders came to an end when the Mamluks invaded and destroyed the city killing all remaining Crusaders. know as Richard the Lion Hearted took Acre from the Muslims and killed close to three thousand war prisoners.

During the Ottoman Empire the Bedouin Sheikh Daher El Omar took to himself a small part of the empire and made Acco his capital building a large fortress. Years later the Turkish Governor Ahmad Pasha al Jazeer fortified the city and build the mosque Al Jazeer, one of the most beautiful mosques in Israel.

Until 1918 it was under the Ottoman control. The city became then part of the British mandate over Palestine. The British used the never breached fortress as a prison to hold and execute many fighters of the Jewish underground groups.

The busy Market or Shuk in Acco


Israel’s War of Independence

On the day of May 4, 1947, almost a year before Independence the Irgun staged a dramatic rescue. Few Jews escaped but it was real bust for the Moral of the Yishuv (Jewish Community of Eretz Israel). It was shown on the film Exodus and today it is the home of Underground prisoners Memorial Museum.

During the War of Independence when the Arabs invaded, the Israeli troops took control of Acco and it is part of the State of Israel until now.

As you see Akko is full of History and places of interest for a visit with the kids, your significant other or plainly by yourself.

Image Credits:
bahai gardens by dragfyre
aerial by asaf
khan el umdan by tamara
shuk by almog
undergraound museum by teicher

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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