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The city of Acre, Israel

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Estimation of the population as of 2005.
  2. Geography and history.
    1. Location of Acre.
    2. The oldest continuously populated cities in the world.
    3. The archaeological record.
    4. Akko incorporated into the empire of Alexander the Great - 332 BC.
    5. Julius Caesar incorporates the city into the Roman Empire - 48 BC.
    6. King Baldwin I of Jerusalem's capture of Acre.
    7. Entry of the Franks.
    8. The Ottomans.
    9. The ?rst modern construction of the town.
  3. Present time.
    1. Listed only as a medium-sized town in Israel.
    2. The underground Crusader ruins.
  4. Conclusion.

Since ancient times, the gateway to Palestine has been considered the magni?cent harbor at Acre. Now a small Israeli city with a mixed population of Palestinians and Jews, Acre has for more than 4,000 years served the hinterland of southern Syria with access to the long-distance trade routes of the Mediterranean. For a millennium a Canaanite city often under the direct rule of the pharaohs in Thebes, the city was subsequently besieged, destroyed, and rebuilt by the likes of Ramses II, King David, Ashurbanipal, Ptolemy II, Salah ad-Din, Richard the Lionheart, Napoléon, and Ibrahim Pasha. Its golden era was the two centuries it served as the key entry port and then capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, when Franks and Italian traders made it their link to Europe. Today its varied antiquities and monumental buildings attract many tourists, but the small ?shing boats drawn up in front of its seaside restaurants are a poor substitute for the hundreds of pilgrim and grain ships that used to moor below its gates.

[...] During the British Mandate, very little construction occurred in Acre, and the rapid growth of Haifa hampered Acre's development. During the same period, Zionist settlements sprang up in the surrounding area, and the town was enclosed from all sides with agricultural lands, thus pre- venting the possibility for further enlargement. The city was captured by Israeli forces during the ?ghting in 1948, and most of its Palestinian Arab inhabitants ?ed and were prevented from returning. Although Acre was originally assigned to the Arab state in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, it was subsequently incorporated into the State of Israel in 1949. [...]

[...] Richard the Lion- heart subsequently recovered the city for the Franks four years later and massacred more than 3,000 of its inhabitants. The ?nal collapse of Crusader Acre came in 1291 after a long and bloody siege by the Mamluks. To deter any subsequent Frankish attempt to return, the Mamluks reduced the port, citadels, churches, and most other structures to rubble. In addition, they transferred district administration to Safed in Galilee, and when they eventually permitted visitors and pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, the required point of entry was the port of Jaffa, which was closer to Egypt and, because of its poorer natural defenses, easier to control. [...]

[...] The purpose of the Crusades may have been to secure access to Jerusalem, but the bridgehead was frequently Acre, given that the port was so secure. The city prospered from the in?ux of wealth and from being used as a base by powerful Crusader personages and orders, such as the Hospitallers and the Knights of Saint John. During truce periods between the Franks and the Muslims, its port was a center for commercial exchange between the lands of the West and the East. [...]

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