Sar-El's Visit to Acre (Akko):
Sar-El staff recently had the opportunity to participate in a day-trip to Acre, or Akko, the ancient port city North of Haifa on the Mediterranean coast. We were introduced to the wonderful sites and attractions this seaside city has to offer. In addition to the sites listed below, groups may also be interested in visiting the Marina, fishing ports, the Oriental Market, the Promenade along the Akko walls, and a variety of restaurants for every style and taste. In the near future groups will be able to take a boat ride on the Mediterranean Sea from Haifa to Akko as part of their tour!
The following text was provided by the Old Acre Development Co. Ltd., edited by Sar-El Tours
Hospitaller Fortress - The Underground City
The spacious Crusader Fortress has been excavated over the years and today measures about 23,000 sq. meters. The visitor walking through the fortress feels history bubbling under his feet in the Knight's Halls, the Crusader Dining Hall, the Prisoner's Hall, the public toilets from the Crusader period, the Crusader Fortress courtyard, a Crusader street and the Escape tunnel. In the Underground Crusader City we will find ancient streets, shops, a special chapel where mass can be held and walls engraved with graffiti of the Crusader period street artists. Duration: 1.5 hours
The Okashi Museum
The Museum is named after the late artist Avshalom Okashi, one of the leading artists of the "New Horizons" stream of art. This is a unique museum dedicated to modern art and located in an Ottoman building. The temporary exhibition changes every three months. Duration: 20 minutes
Or Torah Synagogue
The synagogue is named after the ancient Jewish synagogue in Gerba, Tunisia. The synagogue is four floors high and filled with beautiful mosaics and splendid French glazed windows. The mosaics tell the story of the Jewish people from the time of Abraham's arrival from Ur Kasdim up to the Yom Kippur War. Duration: 1 hour - 1.5 hours
The Templar's Tunnel
The underground tunnel (which is actually a street) is 300 meters long and it crosses the city from east to west. The visitor entering the tunnel walks on a wooden walkway, underneath which fresh water flows and gurgles. Through the use of a unique and modern presentation, the visitor will go back in time and have an exciting experience from the period of the Middle Ages. Duration: about 20 minutes
The Story of the Last Bath Attendant
The Al Basha Hammam - the large simulated Turkish bath is alive and breathing. The Turkish Bath presents the historical experience of "The Story of the Last Bath Attendant" through the eyes of the last bath attendants heritage in Akko. Through the use of a multi-media presentation, we will meet up with the original stories and captivating historical experiences of Akko. The fascinating audio-visual experience is presented simultaneously in eight languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian. Duration: 30 minutes
Museum of the Underground Prisoners
This is a structure from the Ottoman period that served originally as the El-Jazar Paha Palace. During the British Mandate it served as a prison where nine of the Jewish Resistance Movement prisoners were hung from the gallows. Today the Museum reconstructs the prisoners' cells and their attempt to escape from the prison. The Museum displays the activities of the Jewish Resistance Movements (Etzel, the Hagana and Lechi) before the establishment of the State of Israel.
Duration: around 1.5 hours
The Ramchal Synagogue
This ancient 300 year-old synagogue is located in the middle of the Oriental Marketplace in the Old City, named after Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzzatto from Italy. The structure of the synagogue resembles the little synagogues in Italy (Livorno). The synagogue is found in the heart of the Old City and has a pulpit below the congregation - "From the depths I called out to you".
Duration: about 15 minutes
The museum offers a trip to the Galilee of 150 years ago and presents the daily life in Akko and the Galilee area from that period. The museum simulates a Galilean market place from the 18th-19th century, showing laborers, their tools, the products they made and sellers in the marketplace. The Museum is situated within the width of the ancient wall, 60 meters wide, which adds a special touch to the experience. Duration: about 1 hour
Alongside the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, the Akko Bahai Gardens are well known as the most beautiful in Israel. The founder of the Bahai religion, Bahá'u'lláh, lived his last years here and is buried in the shrine at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are magnificently designed and beautifully, geometrically exact; we invite you to enjoy the serenity and beauty of these gardens during your visit to Akko. Duration: 1 hour
Seven routes in the Old City have been restored, mapped and marked for tourists all within a radius of one kilometer. The duration of each route is between one to three hours, depending on the interest and walking speed of the tour participants: