is a small Israeli city on the Mediterranean Sea, which can be considered to be almost the only worthy rival city to the great Jerusalem. There are ancient walls, the Arab bazaars, winding streets and dark-blue sea, which bathes the Old Town on three sides. Taking a walk there, you really realize that you trample bridge stories, which have not turned into a tourist attraction and live its own life for many hundreds of years.
In this review, I'm going to tell about that ancient part of the city of Acre that preserved the flavor of the Middle East and its Arab population. New neighborhoods, intersections, and shops have appeared around it.
The Jewish part of the city's population (most of them former immigrants) is concentrated in those neighborhoods, and the Old Town has remained a stronghold of the Arabs, as it was for many centuries. This part of the city of Acre is on the World Heritage list by Unesco.
We stopped there early in the morning on the last day of our trip to Israel after a memorable trip to the Golan Heights. A few hours spent in this city passed almost unnoticeable.
But before the start of our walk around the city, it is worth remembering a few important facts from the history of Acre. After all, we took a walk on the earth, which remembers many great people who have become a part of world history.
The city for its 4,000th history was always a tasty trophy and a strategically important stronghold. Once it was won by Alexander the Great. It was visited by Julius Caesar and Pharaoh Tuthmosis the Third. Because of its convenient location, Acre has always been besieged, seized and destroyed by someone, although it was rebuilt again and again.
The Crusaders started the conquest of the Holy Land from this city. During the Third Crusade, it was besieged by troops of the notorious King Philip the Fair and Richard the Lionheart. After the loss of Jerusalem,
had become the capital of the crusade forces from Europe. Then it got a resounding french name of Saint-Jean d'Arc.
Teutonic Knights, Templars, and Hospitallers rebuilt more than 40 churches and 20 monasteries in the city. But their reign was short-lived. Mamluks had once again conquered the city and destroyed it nearly to the ground. Only a small fishing village huddled in the ruins of the city for a few centuries.
Today's powerful city walls were rebuilt by Ottoman Turks. So the fortress of Acre has acquired an even more menacing look and managed to keep the siege of Napoleon. Future French emperor lifted the siege of the city during a swim of the British squadron to the aid of the Turks.
Since that time, the city owned by the Arabs. Mosques and inns were built at the site of the former churches and monasteries of the Crusaders, and there was a bazaar in the streets of Acre.
Surprisingly, the Old City of Acre has not changed for the last two hundred years. There's mostly Arab population, and there's the same lively market in the streets.
There's a free parking - a kind of an extra bonus for the independent traveler.
The old walls, crumbling arches, and winding streets are just decorations of the modern city of Acre.
Arabic Bazaar attracts not only tourists. It attracts residents from all the neighborhoods.
There's plenty of items - fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, spices.
Besides price and quality match.
Wandering between shopping malls, you easily feel the rhythm of the city.
It is always chilly in the dark alleys and courtyards. The cool shade, icy pomegranate juice, and the fresh sea air is an excellent replacement of the air-conditioners.
Acre was lucky and due to the emergence and rapid growth of its neighbor
, the city was not the interests of big business and big politics. This helped the tradesmen to survive and save the city's identity.
The main advantage of this seaside city is a distinct lack of tourist commercialization.
However, there is also a religious confrontation. Local Arabs have long considered themselves to be a part of Israel. At the same time, they do not forget about their customs and beliefs.
The local Al-Jazzar Mosque is the most important center of Islam after the Jerusalem shrines. Surprisingly, if Jerusalem can be called to be a center of religious confrontation, then Acre can serve as an example of peaceful coexistence between the Jewish and Arab peoples.
The city has many artifacts of crusaders' time - the mysterious underground tunnels, ruins, and crypts. Nowadays there are hiking trails on these sites.
Anyway, it is much more interesting to wander aimlessly through the city, not knowing what to see around the next corner. Each new alley, stairs or yard can give a fountain of emotions.
The city is full of interesting details.