Historical Acre – A Diamond in the Rough
Recently I went on a tour of Acre given by my professor at the College of Western Galilee in Acre. Acre, (also written as Akko), is a modern coastal city in northern Israel. It also has an ancient city and port.
At one time, about 900 years ago, it was one of the most important cities in the Middle East. The Crusaders conquered Acre built it up and to this day their Knights Halls can be found under the buildings that were constructed later by the Mamlukes and the Ottomans.
Napoleon Bonaparte tried to capture the city in 1799 but after a lengthy siege was ultimately unsuccessful, and was forced to retreat. To this day, the hill on which he set up his camp is known as Napoleon’s Hill and there is even a Napoleon Bonaparte Street – the only street named for him in Israel.
Like many other historical cities in Israel, Acre has a town plan for the renovation of its historically valuable buildings. Two beautiful buildings have already been renovated and turned into boutique hotels. One is the Akkotel, photographed below.
Acre is a diamond in the rough. It hasn’t progressed as much as Tel Aviv has in its preservation process and there is much to be done. Anyone who is interested in the preservation of historical buildings would do well to check out Acre. The prices of the properties are still relatively low and when the old city is preserved, its beauty will surpass even that of ancient Jaffa and the old city of Jerusalem.