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Meet Shelley-Anne

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Hidden palaces & painted ceilings in Old Akko

Join a special tour with Dr. Shelly-Anne, a fascinating and intriguing encounter with the hidden palaces and painted ceilings in Old Akko.

About Shelley

Dr. Shelly-Ann Peleg is referred to by her family as ‘Doctor Stones’. She says that when she was discharged from the army, her parents thought she was “crazy” when she decided to study archeology. Her insistence led her to complete her studies in archeology at the University of Haifa until her doctorate. Shelley has been involved in archeology and antiquities for over 30 years, preserving historic buildings and cultural heritage. Over the years, Shelly has learned to ‘dub the stones’, get to know the antiquities and ‘hear’ through them the stories of people who lived in the area in ancient times. She participated in countless archeological excavations across the country and witnessed fascinating discoveries that were uncovered during them.

 She researches historic cities in Israel and especially in Akko, the people that lived there in the past, traditional communities that currently live in them today and how this all connects.

Dr. Shelly-Ann Peleg is the initiator of the Hands-on-Heritage project that takes place in Old Akko and the Western Galilee. An initiative that aims to create opportunities for tourists from Israel and around the world to experience and be exposed to the ancient buildings and their conservation, the historical figures and peoples who operated in the area, their traditions and cultures.

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Shelley near Akko’s Walls
Shelley near Akko’s Walls
Shelley near Akko’s Walls

About the tour

Hidden palaces and painted ceilings in Old Akko

This is an architectural tour of special private homes in Old Akko. The tour includes historic buildings, religious buildings and special public institutions.

During the tour you’ll discover with Shelly-Anne the hidden palaces and the picturesque ceilings of the buildings. You’ll meet the people who currently live there, meet planners, architects and conservation workers.

This is an opportunity to catch up on new projects in the city and get to know the fascinating stories behind the doors.

Additional Tours

Enjoy a French flavor evening in the alleys of Old Akko.

An evening tour dedicated to the French who were in Akko: Louis IX, Napoleon Bonaparte, and others.

“If Acre had fallen I would have changed the world …” wrote Napoleon Bonaparte at the end of his life, in exile on the island of St. Helena about his journey to Israel in 1799.

The tour will pass through Tel Akko and the alleys of the Old City, the Khan and the walls, where the connection of the French to Akko during the Crusader period will be explained. On the walls of Akko, the story of Napoleon will be told, about his war journey to Israel and how the local ruler of Akko, Ahmad al-Jazzar Pasha, managed to defeat the famous French commander. The tour will end at the Sama Bar for a spectacular view with a glass of wine and light refreshments.

Welcome to a picnic with workers and a closer look at the various conservation centers in the city.

In the ‘Picnic with the Workers’ activity – a unique entry and peek will be possible to the various work sites where conservation work is carried out, and especially we will get to know the various works in the Akko Wall. We will visit the parking lot in the moat, the northern moat, the moat next to the Museum of Underground Prisoners and the sea wall in Burj El-Kashla and near the lighthouse. We will present the complex and different methods for stabilizing the wall, how to remove modern additives (such as cement) and stabilize loose parts and the core of the wall.

The activity includes a tour around the walls in the Old City, entry to the work sites and an introduction to the conservation work, a ‘workers’ picnic’.

Participants may be required to wear helmets when visiting some of the sites.

Come and experience a practical workshop in the field of archeological conservation in Old Acre.

Touching ancient stones, climbing ladders, mixing materials, preserving walls and antiquities and experimenting with traditional works of yesteryear, smell and feel…

As part of the activity, you’ll be exposed to the story of the tourist sites in Old Akko from the Crusader period to the present day. You’ll experience the conservation of the ancient walls and hear up close the stories behind the conservation crafts and other traditional crafts.

The workshop combines practical experience in conservation work with Saleem Amer at al-Madrasa workshop, a glimpse into the backyards of historic buildings in Old Akko and acquaintance with the “behind the scenes” concerns of researchers currently working in Akko.

The workshop includes:

Entrance to tourist sites and visits to places that are not usually open to the general public

Local refreshments and coffee

Experience in wall conervation work and demonstration of stone carving

Come and discover mysterious and hidden worlds in Old Acre

In the markets and alleys of Akko are hidden many religious buildings that tell the stories of the different cultures that exist in the city and the encounter between them: Muslims side by side with Christians, Baha’is side by side with Sufis and Jews from different ethnic groups. More than once, we pass by the unique architectural structures and wonder what is behind the door…

On this tour we will visit the religious buildings in the city (most of which are unfamiliar or not open for visits), get to know their unique architectural features and hear stories about the various residents of the city. We will be exposed to the unique cultural fabric that characterizes Akko, we will discover what is behind the closed doors of mosques, churches and other religious buildings in the city and we will try to understand the meaning of the shared life in the city alleys.

We will get an explanation of the difference between a minaret and a bell tower, we will get to know the places where Christian saints are commemorated (like Andrew and John the Baptist), Jewish rabbis (like the Ramchal) and figures associated with the Sufi stream (Nur al-Din al-Ishroti) and the Baha’is (Baha’u’llah).

The tour is conditional on the opening of the religious buildings and the approvals of the religious institutions to open the buildings!

The tour includes: guided tour, coffee / tea and a sweet tasting at the beginning of the tour

Payment of entrances to religious buildings

Schedule a Tour With Shelley-Anne Peleg