Akko / Acre is one of the oldest cities in the world that is continously inhabited to this day. The Canaanites, Israelites, Phoenicians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Crusaders, and Ottomans have all ruled the city. The old city today is a UNSECO World heritage site, and preents a mixture of a modern Arab population living in a city that was shaped mostly in Ottoman times, but with many parts going back to the time of the Crusaders.
The main sanctuary of the old city is El-Jazzar mosque, named after the ruler of Akko in the early 19th century, and effectly protected the city against Napoleon Bonaparte. It is built over the main church of Akko / Acre from the time of the Crusaders, whose name was “Santa Croce“.
Next to the main mosque remarkable remains of the Crusadr’s era Hospitallers compound (“The Knights Halls“) were uncovered in the 1960-1990’s. They are comprised of three massive halls around a central courtyard. They were developed well to visitors centers as well as a center for annual theatre festivals.
In 1994 a secret tunnel was uncovered under the old city. It was perhaps used by the Templars to smuggle good into the city and avoid costumes. The port of Akko is reserved for small scale fishing and boat rides around the walls of the old city.