Old City of Acre (2001)
Israel

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Israel 2004. The Clock Tower of Akko, and the aqueuct beneath it.

Israel 1971. The aqueduct near Akko.

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. 

  • Israel 2004. The Clock Tower of Akko, and the aqueduct beneath it. 
  • Israel 1971. The aqueduct near Akko. 
Acre, also known as ‘Akko, is a city in Israel, near Haifa, located on the Bay of Haifa, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Founded before 1500 BC, it first appears in recorded history during the reign of the pharaoh Thutmose III, which lasted from 1479 to 1475 BC. 

The town was captured by the Assyrians around 700 BC and virtually depopulated under Ashurbanipal. In 332 BC it was incorporated into the empire of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, seized the city in the 3rd century BC and from that time until the Middle Ages it was known as Ptolemaïs. During the pre-Christian era, ‘Akko was an important seaport and trading center and was successively a part of Syria and a colony of Rome. 

  • Israel 1971. The port of Akko. 

Israel 1971. The Port of Akko.

Israel 1986. El Jazzar Mosque in Akko.

After the permanent division of the Roman Empire in AD 395, ‘Akko belonged to the Eastern (later Byzantine) Empire. The Arabs seized it in 638 and held it until its capture by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 1104. Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria, recaptured ‘Akko in 1187, but the town was subsequently recovered by the Europeans during the Third Crusade. 

In 1291, after a long siege, ‘Akko fell to the Saracens. The Ottomans took possession of it in 1517. Napoleon Bonaparte's effort to advance up the Mediterranean coast from his base in Egypt was halted by the British at ‘Akko in 1799. ‘Akko was captured by British troops in 1918 and included in the British mandate of Palestine (1922-1948). The town was taken by the Israeli army in 1948 and incorporated into the state of Israel in 1949. It is now the center of the Israeli steel industry. 

  • Israel 1986. El Jazzar Mosque in Akko. 

In the justification for inscription UNESCO states, that Acre is an exceptional historic town in that it  preserves the substantial remains of the its medieval Crusader buildings beneath the existing Moslem fortified town dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The remains of the Crusader town of Acre, both above and below the present-day street level, provide an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of the medieval Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Present-day Acre is an important example of an Ottoman walled town, with typical urban components such as the citadel, mosques, khans, and baths well preserved, partly built on top of the underlying Crusader structures. See also Lebanon - Byblos (on this site). 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Israel (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Israel for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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