Africa & Middle East

Acco An Ancient Harbour City In Israel

Acco An Ancient Harbour City In Israel

The city of Acco can be found just north of Haifa, less than an hour’s drive. It is situated right on the Mediteranian sea and has an old, actually ancient town as well as a new town. Most of the tourists will head to The Old City to experience this history-rich town. They will join the likes of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Richard the Lionheart as well Marco Polo who have all 99, but failed miserably. Just strolling through the passages and lanes of The Old City is interesting enough. There are a lot of shops selling souveniers as well as restaurants. You can buy freshly baked pita straight from the passed through Acco through the ages. Even Napoleon Bonaparte tried to lay siege to Acco in 17oven in the food market or join the locals for a plate of hummus. No meal is complete without a piece of baklava or knaffe from the “oriental sweet shop”.

You will not be able to resist buying vegetables or fresh fish that has been brought in from the fishing boats in front of your eyes. Acco also specializes in spices, as it has been doing for hundreds of years. Just standing in one of these spice shops, looking and smelling at the different spices is an experience not to be missed. A visit to Acco is a must to anybody who loves history. The Old City has been designated as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.The first thing you see as you approach The Old City of Acco, are the sea walls. They are the remants from Crusader times. Many brides and grooms come to this beautiful backdrop to have their photos taken. One of the buildings that you are sure to come across, is the Khan. This is an old inn that provided a place for people as well as camels to stay over. It is a beautiful building with a square clock tower. Right in the middle of Acco is the Jezzar Pasha mosque that was built in 1781. On the second floor of this mosque is a reliquary said to contain one of the hairs of Mohammad.. The most prominent building in Acco’s Old City must be The Citadel. It has survived from the times of The Crusaders, but have been fortified by the Ottomans. The Citadel was used during the British Mandate as a prison for people suspected of un-British activities. Both Jews and Arabs were incarcerted here.

On the 4th of May 1947, a members of a Jewish underground attaked this impregnable fortress and twenty prisoners escaped succesfully. Today The Citadel houses a museum for Jewish resistance prisoners. Tourists can even pay a visit to the still eerie gallows where the members of the resistance were executed.

In The Citadel you can also find the Acco Old City Visitor center. It includes a garden that was planted to description of the garden that used to be there during the times of The Crusaders.

Underneath The Citadel,excavations revealed a group of halls, which was built and used by the Hospitallers knights. More excavations are still ungoing, but so far a dungeon, remains of a Gothic church and a dining room have been revealed apart from the six semi-joined halls.

People who have had enough of history, can catch a ride on one of the tourists boats to look at the sea walls from the sea. You will not only get to take some beautiful photos, but will see how Acco looked to its visitors and conquerors for more than a thousand years.

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