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Acre: Things to See
 
The city’s fascinating historical heritage, a rare blend of East and West, authentic sights from the past, a unique meeting place of art and religion alongside the remains of various cultures – all these have made Acre one of the most important cities of the ancient world.
The walls of the city, its fortresses and citadels, its churches and mosques and the other buildings within its boundaries, tell the history of the many rulers who governed it and fought for it, who built the city and glorified it.
 
The Great El-Jazar Mosque
The impressive El-Jazar Mosque, known in Arabic as Jama El Basha (the Mosque of the Pasha), was also known in the past by the name of Jama El Anwar (The Mosque of Lights). This is the largest mosque in Israel outside Jerusalem and the largest mosque that was built in Israel in the days of the Turks. The striking building of the Mosque still dominates the Acre skyline.
 
The Hospitaller Fortress (The Citadel)
The beautiful Fortress is built in the form of four wings surrounding an open courtyard. The north wing was built along the northern wall of the city, making the Fortress an integral part of the defense of the Walls of Acre. A spacious hall was built in the eastern wing, measuring 35 X 40 meters. It served as a conference and ceremonial hall for the knights of the order. In the south wing an elegant hall with a cruciform vaulted ceiling was discovered, and in the other wings one can observe the dormitory used by the knights, their public toilets and the southern dining room built in stylish gothic style.
 
Visit the citadel of Acre and discover a glorious history: the magnificent Knights' Halls, the Ottoman fortifications (including the tower and the moat), the Enchanted Garden - a modern garden planted according to the historical description of the garden that flourished here during the Crusades period,  Acre's British prison and the gallows, Memorial for Jewish resistance fighters executed during the British mandate, a Museum for the Jewish resistance prisoners, Prison cell of Bahá'u'lláh, Founder of the Bahá'í Faith.
 
The Enchanted Garden
During the Crusader Period the Enchanted Garden was situated in the northern part of the city, adjacent to the wall. To the east of the garden stood the Crusader King’s palace in Acre, and to the west, the military fortress of the Hospitallers – the Order of St. John.
During the Ottoman Period the ruler’s palace was built on the remains of the Hospitaller fortress, and the garden became part of the gardens of the Pasha’s private palace.
In 1799 a battle was fought in the garden between Napoleon’s soldiers and the defenders of the city. The soldiers of Napoleon’s army, who invaded the city, were repelled and ultimately failed to conquer it. 
 
The Templar Tunnel
During the second half of the 12th century the members of the Templar Order began building their quarter in the south-western part of Acre. A tunnel led eastward from the fortress, the remains of which are now covered by the sea. The lower part of the tunnel was carved from natural stone, and its upper part was built from hewn stones covered by a semi-barreled dome. The tunnel transverses the Pisan Quarter and leads to the city port in the east, a distance of 350 meters. It was discovered in 1994 and was opened to the public in September 1999.
 
Khan Al-Omdan
A large merchants’ inn near the port used for international trade. Merchants who arrived at the port unloaded their goods at the storerooms of the inn on the first floor and stayed in the rooms of the second floor, which constituted a unique hotel.
The khan was built in the late 18th century by Ahmed El-Jazer and rests on a series of granite columns brought from various sites in the area. The courtyard of the khan is open to visitors during all hours of the day.
 
Hamam al Basha
Built in 1795 by El-Jazar, this public bathhouse resembled Oriental bathhouses common in the Turkish Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Turkish bath has an entry room that serves as a dressing room, with a marble fountain in the center. A corridor leads from the entry room to a series of hot rooms, the last of which is a hexagonal steam room, with a domed roof supported by four marble columns and four rooms for individual use, one at each corner.       
 
 
Bahá'í  Holy Sites
There are many Bahá'í holy places in and around Acre. They originate from Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in the Citadel during Ottoman Rule. The final years of Bahá'u'lláh's life were spent in the Mansion of Bahjí, just outside Acre, even though he was still formally a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire.
 
Bahá'u'lláh died on May 29, 1892 in Bahjí, and his shrine is the most holy place for Bahá'ís - their Qiblih, the location that Bahá'ís should face when saying their daily obligatory prayers. It contains the remains of Bahá'u'lláh and is near the spot where he died in the Mansion of Bahjí.
 
Other Bahá'í holy places in Acre include the House of `Abbúd (where Bahá'u'lláh and his family resided) and the House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá (where later 'Abdu'l-Bahá resided with his family), and the Garden of Ridván where Bahá'u'lláh enjoyed spending the later part of his life.
 
 
*Info courtesy of akko.org  


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