Acre is one of the oldest port cities in the world since the Bronze Age. For centuries, the city passed from hand to hand because that serves as a key to conquer the Land of Israel. Acre peaked century was the 13 century when served as the capital of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Impressive remains from this period and from the Ottoman period, when the city served as an important maritime remained in the town.
The market street in Akko
Acre travel guide
The Templar Tunnel
The Templar Tunnel is an underground tunnel located beneath the streets of the Old City of Acre. At its western end was a Templar castle, which in 1291 was destroyed and sank into the sea, and at its eastern end was the port of Acre. Built towards the end of the 12th century, by members of the Templar order who had settled in Acre after Saladin’s conquest of Jerusalem, it served as a strategic underground passageway. The Tunnel is 350 meters long and runs under most of the city’s historical Pisan Quarter. The floor of the Tunnel was dug in the natural rock, while its upper part consists of an elongated arch made of hewn stone.
In 1994, the Templar Tunnel was discovered accidentally, when the residents of one of the buildings above it complained of a blocked sewage pipe and had the matter investigated. In August of 1999, the western end of the tunnel was opened to the public, after being equipped with a wooden floor, proper lighting and a pumping system that constantly removes the accumulating ground water.
The Templar Tunnel in Akko
The Tunnel is approximately 2 meters high in most parts, but due to excavation constraints and its elevated wooden floor, at some points it is only about 1.5 meters high, which requires visitors to be able to squat down in order to get through. The current entrances to the Tunnel are not the original points of entry; therefore, at each end, one located near the western parking lot adjacent to the port and the other next to Khan-A-Shuna in the south-central part of the Old City, steps were dug to enable access to the Tunnel. An entrance fee is required.
The Hospitaller Fortress in Acre
The Hospitaller Fortress was the headquaterters of the Hospitallers, a monastic military order established to treat the sick in the Holy Land. The order moved to Akre from Jerusalem in 1191,where it remained until 1291. The headquarters – the Knight Halls consisted of built up wings constraucted around a large centerl courtyard, a three story tower,which served as public toilets. The most impressive hall in the fortress is the hall of columns which served as the order’s dining room.
The Hospitaller Fortress,Acre
Khan Al Umdan
Khan Al Umdan in Akko
is a large caravanserai near the port,once the hub of international trade. Merchants unloaded their goods in storeroomes on the first floor and resided in rooms on the second floor. It was built in the late 18th century by Ahmed el-Jazzar and is supported by a series of granite columns transported from other locations.
The Market Street in old Acre
The Market Street is the main thoroughfare of the Old City,Running from north to south. This is a colourful market with many stalls,from fishmongers to shops selling sweet oriental delights,to perfumes,spices and more…
Things to do in Akko
The market in Akko
The market in Akko
Knafe – The market street in Acre
The el-Jazzar Mosque in Acre
The el-Jazzar Mosque is the largest mosque in Israel outside Jerusalem and the largest mosque built in Israel during the Ottoman period.
he el-Jazzar Mosque in Acre
The old port of Acre
The old port, was first mentionesd in relation to the Greek campaign to conquer Egypt in 527-525 BC. The port was built under the reign of Ptolemais II (285 – 246 BC),transforming Acre into an international port city and the gateway to Israel.It reached its zenith during the conquest by the Crusaders.
The old port of Akko
The Old Port,Acre
The Turkish bathhouse
The Turkish bathhouse consists of spectacular domed rooms,adorned with ceramic tiles and exquisite floors enhanced by colorful lighting.The experience includes an authentic soundtrack,original depictions and sculpted figures, providing a compelling portrayal of everyday life, historical events, and bathhouse culture.
Outside the old city it is highly recommended to visit the synagogue “Or Torah” of Tunisia’s Jewish community and the Bahái World Center.
The Turkish bathhouse
The Turkish Bazaar
The Turkish Bazaar was built during the ottoman period and is located nearby the ancient port and the local market.The bazaar has undergone conservation and restoration, while maintaining it’s unique and periodic architectural characteristics. The bazzar offers entertainment and shopping experience in designer boutiques, with autentic atmosphere, tailored to the site.
The Turkish Bazar,Acre
The Ramchal Synagogue
The Ramchal Synagogue served as the Synagogue of the Ramchal (Moshe Chaim Luzzatto),a rabbi, Kabbalist,writer and poet,and author of the book “Mesillat Yesharim” (Path of the Just) arrived in Akko with his family in 1743, joining the Jewish community there. Theire magnificent synagoguge was taken over by Dhaher El-Omar and converted into mosque. During the Arab Revolt of 1936 – 1936 the Jews fled the city but after the War of Independence the they returned to the city and renewed the synagogue’s activity and lit an enernal flame.
Akko,The Ramchal Synagogue
The Okashi Art Museum
The Okashi Art Museum in Akko
is located in the Old City of Acre, next to the Acre prison and across from the Al-Jazzar Mosque. It is housed in a structure from the Ottoman period, featuring a high, double vaulted ceiling characteristic of the period’s architecture. More recently, the building served as the workshop of the artist Avshalom Okashi, one of the founders of the New Horizon Group. After the artist’s decease, in 1980, the building was turned into a museum dedicated to his memory. The Museum’s permanent exhibit consists of Okashi’s works, which focus on biblical and panoramic scenes of the land of Israel. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits.
The Tunisian Synagogue “Or Torah”
The Tunisian Synagogue Or Torah was established in Acre by immigrants from Tunisia, and hence it is also referred to as “the Tunisian” and “the Djerba,” invoking the large synagogue on the island off the coast of Tunisia. Nowadays, however, Or Torah synagogue is attended by Jews from communities of varied eastern ethnicities.
The Tunisian immigrants established their synagogue within a pre-existing ancient structure. The manager of the synagogue decided to add mosaics to the structure, in the tradition of the ancient synagogues, as seen in excavations found throughout of Israel. He appealed to the mosaics factory of Kibbutz Eilon, which brought in the first mosaic work for the synagogue. Many others followed over the years, and now the interior and exterior walls, as well as the ceiling and parts of the floor are covered in tiny, naturally colorful mosaic tiles. None of the tiles are artificially painted; they were brought in from various parts of Israel, ranging from the Golan Heights to Eilat.
There are also 140 painted glass windows in the synagogue. Both the mosaics and the painted windows present topics related to the history of Israel, from Biblical stories to 20th century events, as well as scenes depicting Israel’s cities, landscape, flora and fauna. There are eleven works dedicated to the topic of the Holocaust, and a series of works showcasing Israeli coins. To date, most of the mosaics were produced in Kibbutz Eilon.
The Bahá’í Gardens in Acre
The beautiful Bahá’í gardens are on the outskirts of Acre. This site is the most holy of the Bahá’í shrines, the location of the home and burial site of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith. Soon after the founding of the Faith in Iran, in the mid 19th century, the Bahá’u’lláh and his followers were persecuted and exiled from Iran to the territories of the Ottoman Empire. At first they were incarcerated in the Citadel of Acre, but shortly after, they were permitted to exit the Citadel and reside in the city itself. Finally Bahá’u’lláh settled in a small mansion, which his followers named “Bahjí” (small garden), where he spent the last years of his life, until his death in 1892.