Ancient Akko’s Crusader Fortress

This week we will detour from the Jerusalem streets, and look at the streets of Akko, where we recently visited.

Akko/Acre is a port city on the Mediterranean coast in northwest Israel, known for its well-preserved old city walls. The settlement in Tel Akko began as far back as the twentieth-century BCE.

Jonathan the King of the Hasmoneans conquered Akko in 150 BCE.

Akko was a link in the international trade chain with…a long history.

Old Akko was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. The area has fascinating tourist spots and great potential.

Akko was already a fortified city at the beginning of the 12th century when the First Crusade of 1095-1099 was declared a success.

1191 – King Richard I, or Richard the Lionhearted, recaptured the city in the Third Crusade. The Crusaders built a huge fortress in Akko, and you can go on the Kingdom of the Knights tour in the ancient fortress.

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A model in the inner courtyard shows the size of the structure complex.

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Around the area, some of the ancient stone relics found in the area are on display.

Relics of ancient history are on exhibit outside the main entrance.

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It is best to enter and get the audio headset for a self-guided tour inside.

Artifacts from the Hellenistic and Roman periods that have been found beneath the floor of the Crusader hall are on display.

Along the walking tour, one can stop and listen to explanations at dozens of numbered spots.

Akko served as the main port of the Crusader kingdom, the heart of its commercial activity, and its administrative center.

The historical importance of scribes is featured at one location.

The walls are lined with colorful murals and informative context.

The vast arches and columns are now lit up along the winding corridors.

The arches were crafted in the shapes of the hulls of the wooden boats that arrived at the port, a style similar to Old Jerusalem.

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Dishware found under the floors, that was used by the Crusader Knights is on exhibit.

The ancient fortress is now used as a modern museum.

The Crusader hall was a great spot to stop. The Crusaders lost their hold on the kingdom some 50 years before the fall of Akko.

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A new power arose from Egypt: the Mamluks. By stopping the Mongolian invasion, the Mamluks began consolidating their rule in the area.

They built magnificent mosques, schools for the study of Islam (madrassas), and inns for their pilgrims.

They left Akko desolate, like the other coastal cities. Ahmad Pasha was known as ‘al-Jazzar’ (the butcher) because of his intense cruelty.

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The reconstruction of the city in the 17th century began when Fakhr-al-Din came to power.

Daher al-Omar 1745-1775, is long gone. What he would think about Akko today?

Now there is a restaurant called ROOTS outside the fortress entrance.

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A kosher restaurant is located next to the old Crusader Fortress.

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The Kingdom of the Knights reveals the secrets of Acre in the Crusader Fortress.

Even if the weather is too hot or cold outside, an interesting view of history can be found inside the ancient old stone walls.

5 thoughts on “Ancient Akko’s Crusader Fortress

  • November 20, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    This is amazing. We were in Akko many, many years ago, but your photo-tour is much more up to date, and beautiful. What a long history, as is true in so many places in Israel. Those arches are massive but beautiful with the lighting.
    When will you be in Teaneck? Whose simcha are you going to?

  • November 23, 2022 at 8:15 am

    You inspire me to make a trip.
    This is an Akko I haven’t seen – much improvement since I was last there.

    • November 24, 2022 at 9:42 pm

      The road improvement is enough to make the trip, tunnels and highways and more that were a surprise as we drove toward Maalot.

  • November 30, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    Your very interesting, informative post makes one feel as if they’re virtually(😉) there:). Yaashar kochaych, once again!!

    • December 1, 2022 at 5:14 am

      Thank you.


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