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The Best Things To Do In Acre (Akko)

The city’s fascinating historical heritage, a rare blend of East and West, authentic sites from the past, a unique meeting place of art and religion alongside the remains of various cultures  –  all of these have made Acre one of the most important cities of the ancient world. This article will give you the highlights of the sites.
01/11/2011, Written by Yourway Team - Netser Jerichower
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The Old Acre Port

The old city of Acre (Akko) is a large walled city on the shores of the bay of Haifa, and was an important port city in ancient times. During these times Acre's port was the docking port for hundreds of sea vessels carrying soldiers, horses and supplies. Since then and up to modern times the port has been dominating the area of northern Israel as a strategic trading stop.
Since Haifa's port was opened the Acre port is no longer used for docking ships, as it is not suitable for today's ships, mainly because of its shallow waters. However, this helps keep the Acre port as one of the oldest preserved ports in the whole world.
By the way, the modern marina is located where the ancient port used to be - on the southern side of the old city.

Khan Al-Omdan, Acre  

Khan Al Omdan ( The Poles Khan, hostel ) is the biggest and most impressive of all the Khans around Acre, and is one of the most beautiful Ottoman structures in Israel. The Khan was built in 1784 by Ahmed El-Jazaar, Acre's Governor during the 18th century. He built it close to the port, which was then of course used for international trade. Dealers arrived to Acre and stored their goods in the Khans storage room on the first floor. They stayed in the second floor, which was a unique type of a hotel. Today Khan Al Omdan is under the management of the preservation company which is developing the old city of Acre. The company  plans to unite it with Khan Al-Shona, and turn them both into one boutique hotel.

Khan Al-Omdan, Acre  

The Templars Tunnel

The Templars tunnel is an underground tunnel under the streets of Acre's old city. It was built by the Templars to connect their fortress on the south-west side of Acre to the harbor on the south-east side. The tunnel was built in the late 12th century as a strategic underground route used by the Templar's monastery, which was moved to Acre after Jerusalem was conquered by Salah A-Din. 
A wooden floor and lights have been installed along the 350 m' long, 2 m' high tunnel, which adds a lot to the visual appearance. There were two entrances made for the tunnel, which are not the original ones, but they allow easier access for the public. There is an entrance fee for both entrances, one is near the western wing close to  the port, and the other is near Khan A-Shona in the south part of the old city.


The Templars Tunnel

El - Jazar Mosque

The El -Jazar mosque is a mosque that is located on the El Jazar Street in the north part of the ancient city of Akko. The mosque is the biggest, most fancy and important of the eight mosques that stand today in the ancient city of Akko.
When entering the arcade you'll see there are fixed openings that lead to three rows with 45 little rooms, used by the mosque's workers, its pilgrims and its students.In the center of the yard there is a fountain that is used for "vedu", the Islamic bathing ritual, and also a sun clock that was used to determine prayer hours. Today the dome is painted green, and so is the minaret's castle top. A bunch of hair that is attributed to the prophet Muhammad is kept in a chest in the mosque, and is publicly exhibited once a year, at the Aid El Peter holiday. 


El - Jazar Mosque

If you still have time here are some additional well- known sites: 

The Aqueduct of Acre, which brought running water to the old city of Acre, along a raised aqueduct. Knights Halls: The 12th-13th C Crusaders main fortress and headquarters, halls and structures on the North-West side of the city. The Citadel of Acre: The citadel was the palace of the Governor during the 18th-20th C and later became a large British prison. St. Andrews Church: This Greek Catholic Church, built in 1765, is located on the southern-western side of the old city, over the ruins of a Crusader church.


The Citadel Of Acre

In Acre you will be able to see the fingerprints of many peoples and religious movements: the Canaanites, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Turks and the British. A visit to Acre is a one-of-a-kind experience and an exciting trip to the splendid past.

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