The city's location
Akko is situated in the northern part of the coastal valley, also known as Akko Valley. It borders on Bustan HaGalil ("Orchard of the Galilee") to the north and extends all the way to Na'aman River to the south.
Akko boasts a beautiful seashore, which is the northernmost point adorned with the soft, fine sand from the Nile Estuary.
Old Akko, which is situated on a peninsula, is one of the few cities along the shores of the Mediterranean whose surrounding walls have remained intact, aside from two openings that now provide access to motor vehicles. The openings in the wall were made by the British.
Old Akko is a multifaceted city and it is built in layers that have been almost perfectly preserved.
Four religions have made Akko their home and left their mark there: the Jews' synagogues, the elegant churches in the Christian neighborhoods, the Moslems' monumental mosques and the garden of the tomb of Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahai religion and the House of Abud.
Akko is known for its pleasant weather throughout most of the year and it offers a beautiful seashore, a marina and a fishing port. It is a city brimming with history and each and every one of its alleyways is filled with voices from the past. It evokes an atmosphere of freedom and romance.
The walls surrounding Akko make the city's visitors feel safe and sound.
The source of its name is unknown, however presumably, it is not Semitic. The Egyptians were using it as long ago as the second millennium BCE, but since hieroglyphics only have two consonants, the name was written as CK and there is no way of knowing how it was pronounced (the last syllable in particular).
In the letters of El-Amrana, which were written in Acadian, the letter H is used to signify the guttural Hebrew letters alef-hey-chet-ayin; accordingly, the name of the city could be written either as Haca or Aca. Had the name not been preserved, we would not have been able to clearly associate it with the name appearing in the hieroglyphics.
The AKK spelling was preserved in the Assyrian language.
Ancient Hebrew legend has it that the Mediterranean Sea flooded the world and when it reached the shore of Akko it stopped short, as written in the Book of Job (38:11) “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” In the legend, the Hebrew words “Ad po” [hitherto] become “Ad ko” – hence, Akko [Akko].
In the 15th century BCE, Old Akko first appears in the cave writings – the curses of the kings of Egypt. The texts were written on clay tablets or vessels and when they were broken, the curses came true.
Akko appears in the list of cities conquered by Tutankhamen the Third, King of Egypt.
The Israeli Period
Akko appears within the domain of the Tribe of Asher, but it is unlikely that he actually occupied it.
In 701 BCE, Akko served as a station on the northward journey of Sennacherib, King of Assyria.
333 BCE – the city is occupied by Alexander the Great and the Greeks begin to settle there.
261 BCE – the ancient name of Akko is changed to Ptolomeus, after Ptolemy the Second, ruler of Egypt.
The Hasmonean Period
The foreign and hostile city of Akko becomes a Jewish settlement.
The Roman Period
An important city with a diverse, yet still hostile, population at the time of the Great Revolt
66 – 68 AD – two thousand of the City's Jews are murdered. Akko is the Romans’ channel to the West, where the legions prepare to quell the rebellion.
The Byzantine Period
A mixed city with a Christian population and its own bishop
It is considered to be a holy city because Saint Paul visited the first Christian communities there.
The Ancient Moslem Period
640 AD – the city is conquered by the Moslems.
In the 9th century, Ibn Tilio renovated the port of Akko. The city also had a substantial Jewish community.
The Crusader Period
1104 AD – the city is conquered by the Crusaders and becomes a major city and a thriving trade center
1187 AD – Salah-A-Din captures Akko from the Crusaders
1191 AD – Richard the Lionheart recaptures the city from the Moslems
1165 AD – Maimonides immigrates to the Holy Land via Akko
The Late Moslem Period
1291 AD – The Muslim Mamelukes take Akko and end Christian rule in the East. Over the next 400 years, the city becomes a wasteland – a small and insignificant village.
The Ottoman Period
1743 AD – Rabbi Moshe Luzzatto, also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMHaL, settles in Akko
1750 AD – Daher el-Omar, a Bedouin ruler who rebelled against the Turkish regime and took over the entire Galilee, settles in Akko. El-Omar surrounds the city with walls and renovates the port.
1775 AD – A Turkish officer named Achmed El-Jazer overpowers Daher el-Omar, has him executed and is appointed governor of the region in his stead. El-Jazer fortifies the walls and builds up Akko as a strong city. He builds Akko’s aqueduct.
1799 AD – The siege of Napoleon
1804 AD - El-Jazer dies. His successor, Suleiman Basha, continues to build Akko and renovates the aqueduct. Basha dies in 1819.
1819 – 1831 – Abdallah Ben Ali Basha has Haim Parchi executed.
1831 – Ibrahim Ben Muhammad Ali Basha heads an Egyptian force in his conquest of the Land of Israel, bases himself in Akko and pursues his journey eastward.
1840 – 1918 – A united British, Turkish and Austrian navy shells Akko. Ibrahim Basha flees the city.
1840-1919 – Akko is the capital of the northern region of the Land of Israel in the Turkish Empire.
The British Period
1918 – The Land of Israel is conquered by the British, who settle in Haifa. Akko's significance as a port city declines.
1948 – The conquest of Akko by Israel
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