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Akko 4000 years of history Photography & Design - Igal Morag.

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Presentation on theme: "Akko 4000 years of history Photography & Design - Igal Morag."— Presentation transcript:

1 Akko 4000 years of history Photography & Design - Igal Morag

2 Condensed Time Line of Acre
Foundation of Acre'—Tel el Fukhar (Tel Napoleon on the east of the town) The first second thousend B.C Acre is mentioned in the Amarna scripts 19th century B.C Acre is mentioned 13 times in the letters of Amarna 14th century B.C Acre is conquered by Sancherib of Ashur Year 720 B.C Acre is conquered by Alexander the Great Year 332 B.C Acre is known as "Ptolemais", & an underground channal for water from Cabri was buildt Helenistic period.281 –B.C The Roman conquest Year 40 B.C The Islamic conquest by Khalid ibn al-walid Year 636 A.D The first crusade, Acre is conquered by Baldwin the first Years A.D Crusaders Rule,---Acre is divided to quarters of Venice & Pisa,& to different military Orders 12th century A.D Acre is conquered by Salah a-Din the Agyptien (Aubi from Curdish origin) Year 1187 A.D Acre is conquered by Richard the Lionheart, & was made Capital of the Crusaders in the Kingdom of Jerusalem Year 1191 A.D Acre is conquered by Sultan Malik Al – Asraf Chalil –the end of the Crusaders presence Year 1291 A.D Important jewish center (haramba"m / haramba"n) 12th-13th century The conquest of the Ottomans 1516 Daher El Omar, the beduin, exploits the weakness of the Governement & seized Acre 1725 Ahmad el Jazar Basha- was sent to restore the ottoman rule. He was the great builder of Acre—the mosque, the hamam,Khan el Umdan, & the aqueduct of Cabri Siege of Napoleon--- 6 attacks failed 1779 Suliman Pasha –rebuilt the walls & erected the"Shuk el Ablad" Several Rulers under the Ottoman imperia Conquest by the British Armee Action" Ben Ami" –Acre is conquered by I.D.F

3 The begining of Acre was here -Tel el fukhar (or as today -Tel Napoleon). Before years, as written in the Egyptian Amarna Letters 19 century B.C, - but immpressive remains of that days do not exist, but at the last time, a sculptur of a cavalier (Napoleon ???) was erected on the top of the hill, one can see. The ancient Acre is not so old, but much more impressive is the place, a little west from here, on the shore, as the last 800 hundred year are the most intresting one's. It starts from the century with th colossal buildings of the crusaders, through the fortification of the walls by the crusaders, & continued by the initiative of the high powered rulers, who erected the monumental locations as the Ahmad el Jazzar mosque, the hamam, the Kahns & more. Acre is a mixed town where Arabs & Jews live together in good neighbourhood in most of the cases. The now existing Acre has its own beauties:The new impressive court of Justice, the tunesien synagoge, famous for its ornamented mosaics, the bahai gardens in the north of the town & more. We are now going to dive in the seldom beauty, as can simple said, because the crusaders locations today, are most under the level of the now existing living quarters. All this levels we are now going to explore, to peel them off & look into them.

4 Before we go visit the town – here we have a beautiful air photo with some of the sites:
The Ottomans castle/ the English mandatory jail, & below here – the crusaders halls. El gezar mosque The eastern wall The turkish Hamam Han el omdan & the harbour Remains of the pisan harbour The Templars palace area The southern wall promenade The south-west corner, & the lighthouse

5 We start from the north-eastern corner of the walls
We start from the north-eastern corner of the walls. On this corner a huge tower (Burj el Kuraijim) with holes for the canons to meet the attackers from the seeside. The ancient Acre is like a peninsula which closes the Haifa bay from the northern side & is surounded by three sides & it seems its big walls grow & arise straight from the waves of the see We start our excursion by "A walk around the walls". החומה הדרומית והנמל

6 A view along the western wall, all its long, one see at the horizon the cliff of Ras el Nakura.
And so looks the western wall , seen from the town & above.

7 A gaze east to tower area the giant trench of the walls is seen
A gaze east to tower area the giant trench of the walls is seen. One can see the how one used at least its beauty. This all was accomplished centuries after Ahmed el Jazzar & his heirs buildt it.

8 On the south- west corner is an other huge defence tower (burj el Sanjak), in the later days the lighthouse of acre was buildt on its foundation At the"cistern"beneath, was in the crusader period the see palace of the Templers, which was destroyed after the their (1291) expulsion & its remains went down the see. The staircase to the promenade of the southern wall

9 We are going now on the top of the south wall till the remains of the Pisan Harbour (crusaders) & view on the harbour. Here we stop for a minute (especial on sabbath or holydays) to see the jungsters of Acre springing into the see from the hights of the wall.

10 A view on the harbor & marina, & behind - the tower of the flies
Remains of the Pisan harbor

11 After the nice outlook on the harbor , we descend from the southern wall, pass by the fishing harbor & continue along the part of the south-east sea wall.

12 Ascending the land gate (known as " Nikanor Gate”), its huge doors still are on their hinges, We leave through it & go a few meters east, & then revealed to our eyes, we see the large amazing trench, which is between two systems of the eastern walls, & this is the end of that trench we met at the beginning of our walk.

13 We return through the gate inside the walls, to the "wall's park" from there we ascend an impressive staircase to the plane of the inner wall. One gets impressed from this large platform & "Napoleon guns"( the truth is ,they are from a later time after napoleon's siege) which are positioned along the wall.

14 From here, the top, one can see the north-east corner of the wall, the remains of the crusaders mixed up with additions of the Ahmed el Jazzar area. Part of this walls resisted the 6 attacks of Napoleon at He did not succeed & after two month of siege, he retreated with a defeated & ill army & gave up forever the idea to conquer Acre.

15 Before we get down off the wall we enter to visit a new institute open late This is an ethnography museum housed within the wall. The entrance to it is in the north-east corner of the cannon’s post (Burje el kumandar) and in it a spectacular display of items of daily life of the Arabs of Acre and the Galilee in the 19th century. Do not miss!!! A look to the museum’s entrance, and a few looks inside.

16 We change our view from the inner wall & against us the huge - an impressive building of the "citadel”. Its foundations are very deep in the earth & were established by the Hospitaller order at the beginning of the 12th century, but most of it was built in the Ottoman period, the 18 century, by Dahar El Amar, & renovated by his heir - Ahmed El Jazzar, who ruled this area in the years of & was one of its greatest builders. The Ottomans used the citadel as prison & so the British mandate. The British rule used the citadel as prison & many leaders of the Jewish settlement & its underground resistant organizations were imprisoned. Some of them were executed by hanging in the gallows room of the citadel. The citadel viewed from the park to the "knights halls" A gaze on the "walking court" of the prison at the British mandate period.

17 Corridor on the prisoner cells floor
A regular prison cell

18 Engravings of the prisoners on the roof of the citadel
The citadel, passed some turning rounds since Acre was conquered by the I.D.F action, ""Ben Amy“ at Years it is used a place for memorial of the imprisoned underground fighters, especial those who went to the gallows. In spite of it, the place is years in restoration & its impossible to visit it to days. But the gallows & memorial room are open to visitors. Already 1920, Zeev Jabotinsky & comrades were imprisoned there, & along the years many of the Jewish settlement leaders & underground fighters knew the place behind the bars. In spite of the fearful cidatel, the IZL fighters, in a joined action with the prisoners ,succeeded to break in & free 41 of them on Nine of the attackers & prisoners were killed in the action, & five were arrested. Three of them were sentenced to death by hanging on the gallows: Jacob Weiss, Avshalom Habib,& Meir Nakar ( ). But before them 4 more were convicted & executed by death penalty: Shlomo ben Josef ( ) Dov Gruner, Jehiel Dresner & Elieser & Kashani ) ). One has to remind that another two - Elijahu Hakim & Elijahu ben Zur were taken to the gallows on on behalf of the Lord Moin killing in Egypt. Two more, Meir Feinstein & Moshe Barasani committed suicide in their cells at the Police prison in Jerusalem, on , when they were aware, that they would be executed.

19 Memorial room of the of the hanged on the gallows.
The gallows room

20 This is the wing where Jabotinski & his comrades were imprisoned
This is the wing where Jabotinski & his comrades were imprisoned. The recondition of it will be completed these days. This part of the cidatel is relatively very glamorous of other parts & maybe at the Ottoman period it served the members of the ruling class.

21 So looked the prisoners walking court from the Ottoman period till 1990
After the "walking court " was eliminated & cleaned, one can see it as it is now Already tens of years are excavations in Acre to uncover the Hospitaller location to the feet of the citadel. This involved the removal of huge quantities remains of the crusaders buildings which were pounded to ashes when the Mammeluks conquered Acre. With that debris they filled up the halls, & on it ,the ottoman town was build. "The knight halls" were the first one be uncovered & seemed to be the Hospitaller barracks & part of the hospital . A giant hall, which by mistake was called "Crypta" was uncovered, & is known today as the "crusaders dining room". In 1990 cracks were uncovered on the citadel prisoners walking court . Intensive examinations brought the exiting discovery that under the prisoners walking court, the main court of the Hospitaller locality is buried. This caused the dismantling of the whole floor & the debris underneath ,& exposing the whole court, including the magnificent staircase which ascends the second floor (which is the prisoners cell floor today) were it seems lived the heads of the Order & its prior commanders Now we go to the excursion which return us 800 years back.

22 Views to the main Hospitallers court & the impressive staircase ascending the upper floor, floor of the commanding staff.

23 This is how the area looks nowadays (late 2006) when the Hospitallers court is clean and exposed, a part of the jail’s historic courtyard is rehabilitated, and the hole prison wing is soon to be fully rehabilitated.

24 We "dive" to the remains of the crusader-Hospitaller location, where the entry passes trough a magic garden with thick ficus trees. Here are the ticket offices & the visitors-center which shows a beautiful model of Acre & a few minutes film about the marvels of Acre. On the court edges piles of "catapult stones" which are the "gun bullets" from that days

25 The first halls we see belong to the museum Okashi, are "the prisoner halls" (???). they are named so, because there are no windows & may be, were used as prisons.

26 We went several meters under the upper surface, & are already inside the "knights halls", this is a part of the location of the “Hospitallers baracks“ & seemed to be the area of the Orders hospital. To the first halls , which were discovered for years, came more & more huge halls, which were uncovered with "ants work" to remove the giant masses of debris, & to support the ceilings, which above them , exists & lives the town of our days. For years the "knight halls" are used for kultural performances, & the picture lefthand shows one of them.

27 Close to the knight halls are more halls , when the mountains of stone dust were removed, more halls will be uncovered. The original pillars were reinforced, & were it was necessary, pillars of cement were added, it seems there is no end of the giant Hospitaller location.

28 This is the public latrine of the locality
This is the public latrine of the locality. One can easy identify the rows of the seats (4),under them flew water constantly, which transferred the "Products" to the sea. By the way, in that hall were two stairs of seats ( with a ceiling between them), possible the upper for the officers, & the underneath for the common personal.

29 We are now in the "cripta“, its name was mistaken, really it was the" Central Dining Hall "of the Hospitallers. This is the most largest & beautiful of all the halls with its pompouse pillars & beautiful ceilings, which are, till this days , excellent preserved.

30 Underneath the crusaders dining hall is an hidden escape tunnel which goes to an array of halls , called "The Posta", & here too are more & more halls are going to be uncovered.

31 In this area, at the tunnels end, a wonderful herodien street was uncovered, & from it are the entrances to the several halls, but the place is still not open for visitors (2006).

32 From here - the Posta halls, we return back to the surface, to the civilization, & we find us sudden in the heart of a beautiful & reconditioned "Turkish Bazaar", but it looks sad, because most of the shops are closed for "lake of public interest". Only a few offer their merchandise to the visitors, the others are waiting for the "mesias days" of tourist.

33 This is the view on the wall behind the market buildings
There is an other covered market in Acre -The white market( Suk el abjad) -still not reconditioned, but it is on the main road & full of live & most of restaurants are there. Underneath—a view of the market space which is the "logistic hinterland" of the restaurants at the front side. This is the view on the wall behind the market buildings And this is the front of the restaurants which turn to the Salach el din street

34 Now we turn to one of the most grandiose establishments from the Ottoman rule in Acre, this is the "Hamam el Basha", the turkish bath, which was build by Ahmed el Jazzar As in any classic Turkish bath the visitor goes through the "cold room", which is the reception, wardrobe & adjusting room to the " Hot room", were most of the important activities were done. On the way are a lot of interim rooms, as W.C, smoking room ( Nargilas as usual), hairdresser u.s.o., & then we come to the point – a room full of dense , warm steam -"the Hot room", there the bath attendant serves the clients with all kind of "massages" & different treatments: flogging with moist branches, cupping glasses for ills u.s.o. Today the building was reconditioned & the visitor get impressed by the presentation of things which happened only 60 years ago , with the help of the presentation called:" the last bath attendant (Balan) ", who tells the place's story, the story of the Ottoman Acre. And this is an example of one of the rooms, smoking room, caffee room, & other pamperings. This is the "coolroom“ - entrance, at the center – the fountain, around - the wardrobe cells

35 We are at the entrance of the hot room, a representation try to show us the different performances & accessories of the Balan (bath attendant) Above all of it a wonderful cupola with rows of holes for escape of the hot steam, for to make it possible to breath a little.

36 Front of the mosque & its yard
After the bathing & the purification its time to visit the great mosque of Acre - Ahmed el Jazzar mosque - on the name of the builder. The almighty ruler & big builder of Acre put 1782 the foundation of this grandiose mosque. The "KOS", a vessel for the worshippers to wash their feets & faces before the enter the prayer location itself. Front of the mosque & its yard

37 A gaze at the praying hall of the mosque

38 On the left wing of the yard, under it, is a giant cistern ( like the one in Ramla) to collect the water of the huge aqueduct of Acre .

39 We leave the mosque, and to feel a little from the athmosphere of Acre & stroll around on its alleys & "to get lost" between the old buildings & kahns *(yards), to look into its hidden places & enjoy the special smells.

40 When strolling in the alleys we can visit two or three grandiose residences of Acre patricians from the former century, which were at least reconditioned, so the visitors can get impressed from what was then invested in the decoration of walls & ceilings in these residences. The ceiling of the family "Hava" house, the whole ceiling, corners & central ornaments are used in one of the municipal buildings.

41 The house of family "Hemar“, the first floor is still inhibited by the family, but the second floor is now rebuilt to change it to a small hotel (by Uri Buri) Ceiling of the first floor תיקרת הקומה העליונה

42 Ceiling of the second floor
A wall painting (Istanbul ???)

43 And so - during we are going astray in the backstreets, suddenly the noise & tumult of the sparkling Acre market emerged, it is not a large market, but has all the signs of a typical orientalic market. Its merchandise is presented on tables to both sides of the way, every kind - has its own area, the colors & the smells are pleasure for nose & eyes.


45 The winding market alley ascend us to the direction of the harbor, were the smell of fishes on the counters are mixing with the smell of the fishing nets, which just now came from the see with crop of fishes to be transported to the markets.

46 To the south of the fishing port is the marina -yachts of all colors & sizes makes a splendid picture, from what kind of angle one looks, when the mosques minarets & churches are the background of the yachts masts.

47 At Acre one can find the remains of several fig-trees from the Ottoman period (even from the crusaders days), for instance at Khan Shuarda which is beneath us, but over all the most beauty & preserved Khan at Acre & - in our whole country, is………… Kahn El Umdan Khan El Umdan -Khan of the pillars, was build by Ahmed el Jazzar at 1784, in the frame of developing the town & its facilities. A Khan is a hostel, Khan for caravans, a wide spreaded establishment before motorized vehicles, when the tranport for cargo & man was done on the back of animals (donkeys, camels & mules) which had to rest at night or even for some days from their long trek. For this reason the governement established along the high ways, in the distance of a day's travel, the Kahns, which could supply rest, shelter & food at the evening to the caravans, man & animals. But the Khan el Umdan had one more obligation (may be the important) it used to be a port. On the ground floor the incoming & outgoing cargo was stored, & on the upper floor were the offices & restrooms of the merchants.

48 Khan El Umdan - khan of the pillars, is called so, because tens of round granite pillars are supporting the second floor. The" marble " pillars were brought two thousand years ago from Italy by herodes to magnify Caesarea ,he then built. At 1291 Caesarea was completely destroyed by the Mamelukkes, & a the long time it was deserted. By the time the stones & marble pillers were pillaged. One can find them today in Acre, Ashqelon & other places in our country.

49 Here one can see the split to two seperated tunnels.
At the distance of ca. 30 meter north-west of Khan El Umdan still exists the oldest Hostel of Acre - Khan el Shuna ( granary hostel ), the Arab inscription on the gate , tells us about the recondition & repairing in the days of Dahar el Omar. The exclusiveness of this hostel is, that parts, especially the ground floor is partly from the crusaders period, & more. on the western edge is the now existing church. We now visit an impressive crusader area“, The Templers Tunnel". The tunnel with its giant measures (350 m' long), or the Twin tunnels, goes from the port area (the tunnels entrance is still not uncovered & one is working to explore it) till the location of the Templers citadel, which had been extended to the coast, but was complete destroyed & its remains drowned "in the see".

50 Here to the foot of the south-west corner of Acre's wall, beneath the lightening tower stood the Templer's citadel, from it ascended the tunnel, we just left.

51 Down going the pier of the helenistic aqueduct of Acre
One of the most impressive projects of civil engineering of Acre, is its aqueduct. Truly - already at the Hellenistic period before 2300 years, the first aqueduct was erected between the Cabri springs & Acre, but no remains were left from it, except a small underground section which passes the limestone ridge at the Lochme- hagethos zone (next we shall see its picture), but what remained till today, is the impressive section of the aqueduct which was built by Suleiman Pasha ca on the foundation of Ahmed El Jazzar duct, which was built tens of years before & was built of ceramic pipes, contrary to the former ducts. On the present aqueduct the water flew in an open channel, built on large arches, which are well preserved till today. The aqueduct is 13 km long & starts east- west of Misraa & descends west , parallel to the limestone ridge, in the direction to Acre. Down going the pier of the helenistic aqueduct of Acre The wonderful aqueduct

52 Today Acre adorns itself with several worthwhile visiting locations, on the west - along the seaside, is a beautiful promenade & at the center - the statue to the remembrance of Acre's prison assault.

53 There are several beautiful public buildings at Acre
There are several beautiful public buildings at Acre. Here are the samples: Underneath - two ancient perfect rebuild structures, one (blue & white colored) is the structure belonging to the Bahai's, & against it ,a beautiful hostel for the town's aged. & at the center - the magistrates court, new & modern.

54 Now we turn to visit an extraordinary establishment in its character & beauty - we stand before the Tunisian synagogue "lagariba" at Acre. The synagogue, from floor to roof, is covered with magnificent mosaics, some of them are biblical, nature & actuality. Because we dedicated a special representation to this object, we show only a little" taste" of what will be to come. The entrance - the floor, walls & ceiling too are covered with magnificent mosaics & vitrages.

55 The upper praying hall, a row of Holy Arcs, the mosaic walls, the window vitrages, & above of it the cupola, with the zodiac mosaic , a copy of the "Beth Alfa synagogue". We stop here , because a whole presentation is dedicated to the synagoge.

56 We are at the north of Acre, here we have a spiritual elation from the rich & magnificent colored bahai'en garden - "the bahaighi" . It is very impressive in its beauty & used to be scenery to the simple grave of the bahai'en religion distributor -Habha Alla. who was buried here at 1892 after he was expulsed from his country (Persia) & imprisoned at the Acre citadel. Later he lived on several places in the area.

57 We are walking on the wonderful treated paths of the garden & ascend to the simple burial place of Baha Allah. To see it ,we have to drop our shoes from our feet, but no photographing

58 English version - jizchak zabar
Here, from this attractive point we finish our excursion of Acre. Against our eyes the historical periods of the town were passed, we walked over & under the earth to live the deeds (& failures) of the greatest conquerors, builders & destroyers who lived the last 1000 years at Acre, & forced their deeds on it pleasant watching Tour Acre several times & one will not be contented Igal Morag And I invite you to visit my website at the following link English version - jizchak zabar

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