Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 2001
Size of heritage: 63 ha
- Buffer zone: 23 ha
Acre is a historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period. The present city is characteristic of a fortified town dating from the Ottoman 18th and 19th centuries, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans and baths. The remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact, both above and below today's street level, providing an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of the medieval Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem.
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Old City of Acre: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Israel's Western Galilee
The Old City of Acre, located in the Western Galilee region of Israel, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and cultural significance. This ancient city, also known as Akko, has a rich history dating back over 4,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The history of the Old City of Acre is intertwined with the rise and fall of various civilizations. It served as a strategic coastal stronghold for the Phoenicians, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, and others. The city's fortifications, which include walls, gates, and towers, bear witness to its military importance throughout history.
During the Crusader period, Acre became the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and a major center for trade and commerce. The Crusaders built impressive structures, such as the Knights' Halls and the underground Templar Tunnel, which can still be explored today. The city's role as a key port in the Mediterranean made it a melting pot of cultures, religions, and architectural styles.
Over the centuries, Acre changed hands multiple times, enduring sieges, conquests, and destruction. The Ottoman Empire took control of the city in the 16th century and left its mark with the construction of mosques, bathhouses, and other Ottoman-style buildings.
Today, the Old City of Acre stands as a testament to its diverse and layered history. Its well-preserved architecture and archaeological sites attract visitors from around the world. The UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2001 further highlighted the importance of preserving this unique cultural heritage.
Exploring the narrow streets of the Old City, visitors can admire the blend of architectural styles, including Crusader, Ottoman, and Arab. The vibrant market, known as the shuk, offers a sensory experience with its colorful spices, fresh produce, and local crafts.
The city's most iconic landmark is the Citadel of Acre, a massive fortress that dominates the skyline. Within its walls, visitors can explore the Knights' Halls, which served as the headquarters for the Crusader knights. The halls feature stunning medieval architecture and are often used as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions.
Another must-visit site is the Al-Jazzar Mosque, built in the 18th century by the Ottoman governor Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar. This grand mosque showcases exquisite Islamic architecture and is still an active place of worship.
The Old City of Acre also boasts several museums, including the Underground Prisoners Museum, which tells the story of Jewish resistance fighters imprisoned by the British during the mandate period. The Treasures in the Walls Museum showcases the city's history through a collection of artifacts and multimedia presentations.
Furthermore, the Old City of Acre is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and music festivals taking place throughout the year. The city's rich heritage and lively atmosphere make it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts, culture lovers, and curious travelers alike.
In conclusion, the Old City of Acre in Israel's Western Galilee is a UNESCO World Heritage site that encapsulates thousands of years of history. Its well-preserved architecture, archaeological sites, and cultural events offer visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the past and experience the vibrant present of this remarkable city.
Hotels and places to stay
Guanacaste Lodge Hotel
The Efendi Hotel
O-LIVE Dolphin Village
NEA Resort & People
Olive Boutique Hotel Nahariya
Madison Hotel Nahariya
Shtarkman Erna Hotel
Videos from the area
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Medium airport - 9 mi (14 km) Ben Ya'akov Airport
Medium airport - 29 mi (46 km) Kiryat Shmona Airport
Small airport - 36 mi (58 km) Sde Dov Airport
Medium airport - 59 mi (95 km) Ben Gurion International Airport
Large airport - 64 mi (104 km) Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Large airport - 66 mi (107 km) King Hussein Air College
Small airport - 79 mi (128 km) Amman-Marka International Airport
Medium airport - 85 mi (137 km) Queen Alia International Airport
Large airport - 99 mi (159 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Al Butayhah
- Al Khushniyah
- Al Mazar ash Shamali
- Al Qunaytirah
- Ash Shajarah
- Ash Shunah ash Shamaliyah
- At Tayyibah
- Beit ed Dine
- Bent Jbail
- Dayr Abi Sa`id
- Dayr `Alla
- Kafr Asad
- Karney Shomron
- Khan Arnabah
- Nabatiye et Tahta
- Samma ar Rawsan
- Tel Aviv
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Abu Sinan
- Ben `Ammi
- Bet Ha`Emeq
- Brit Ahim
- Bustan HaGalil
- El Makr
- El Mazra`a
- Esh Sheikh Dannun
- Judeida Makr
- Kafir Yasif
- Kefar Masaryk
- Kiryat Motzkin
- Lohame HaGeta'ot
- Mishmar HaYam
- Nes `Ammim
- Netiv HaShayyara
- Qiryat Yam
- Shave Ziyyon
- Zur Shalom
- `En HaMifraz