Acre (Akko)

Acre is first mentioned in the Egyptian excretion texts in the 19th century B.C. From the 25th to the 13th centuries B.C, it was a large important Canaanite city. Tough part of the inheritance of Asher, it never seems to have been conquered by the Israelites (Judges 1:31). In the 7th and 8th centuries B.C, it was an important Phonician city. It flourished as Hellenistic city under the name Ptolemais. Here Paul disembarked (Acts 21:7).

Acre-AkkoThe city is mentioned once in the New Testament. Acre entered its most glorious period with the coming of the Crusaders; it was taken by Baldwin I in 104, and became chief stronghold of the Crusaders Kingdom. After the disastrous Christian defeat at Hittin in 1187, the city surrendered to Saladin without resistance but was soon reinforced by knights from all over Europe, only to fall in 1191. During following century, St. John de Acre became capital of Latin Kingdom. Rivalry between the principal chivalrous orders and corruption within the merchant population weakened the city’s strength and hastened its fall to Moslems in 1291.

Many Crusaders buildings and fortifications remain intact to this day. The Acre Mosque was built by the notorious 18th century Moslem ruler; Jasser Pasha is among the most important mosques in Israel.

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