Monday, August 10, 2009

Acre or Akko

Renee took these shots of our seaside lunch place and pretty St. John's Church and of boys leaping off the walls into the Gulf of Haifa.

The importance of this pretty little town in ancient times and during the Crusades is evident in the fortresses, walls, tunnels and castles that remain. And also in its name, which comes from the Greek word for cure. Supposedly Hercules found a healing herb here.

 In the 12th Century the Templar Order -- a military-monastic order that protected European Pilgrims coming into the Holy Land  -- set up here and built a tunnel from their fort to the port. This was lost until a woman complained about a blocked up sewer in 1994 and now you can walk through a small portion of the tunnel again.

The Ottomans set up a citadel here as well. We made it as far as the cat-filled gardens outside the fortifications before going into the Old City, which is on the UNESCO list of Historic Places. But really, the best part of Acre was the coastline where restaurants serve the best freshest fish and boys leap off the walls into the cool water. 

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