Israel / Cities and Towns
Other spellings: Acre, Akka
Town in northern Israel with 46,000 inhabitants (2008 estimate), at the northern end of the Bay of Haifa.
Akko's ancient natural harbour has since long silted up, causing much of Akko's traditional trade to have been diverted to Haifa further south. The main activities now, are with the steel-rolling mill and the production of matches, tiles and plastic products. There is also some fishing and agriculture. Akko also serves an increasing number of tourists.
Akko has good connections with other urban centres of Israel. Nahairiyya is 10 km north, Nazareth 45 km southeast and Haifa 25 km south.
Akko has several historical buildings, like the citadel, the Great Mosque, a Turkish bath, the Crypt of St. John and many churches with foundations dating back to Crusader times. Modern excavations have revealed a complex of halls which were use din Crusader times by the Hospitallers Knights. On the top of a hill to the north of the city is the tomb of Baha'ullah, the founder of Baha'i religion.
About 25% of the population of Akko are Palestinians.
15th century BCE: Akko is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian tribute lists, called Aak.
Around 700: Conquered by the Assyrians.
336: Falls to the territory of Alexander the Great.
3rd century: Conquered by Ptolemy 2 Philadelphus of Egypt and renamed Ptolemais.
Late 4th century CE: Passes to the Byzantine Empire.
614: Conquered by the Persians.
638: Comes under the control of the Muslim Arabs.
1104: Conquered by the Christian Crusaders, and named St. Jean d'Acre.
1187: Conquered by the Muslims under the leadership of Saladin.
1191: Retaken by the Crusaders under the leadership of Richard the Lionheart.
1229: Passed to the Knights Hospitaller.
1291: Falls to the Mamluks after a bloody siege, marking the end of the Crusades.
1517: Captured by the Ottomans, under the leadership of Sultan Selim 1. The Ottomans give the town little attention, with decline as a result.
1799: The French under the leadership of Napoleon put Akko under a 2 month siege, but is eventually forced to withdraw.
1831: Akko is besieged by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, and heavily destroyed.
1918: Captured from the Ottomans by the British.
1948 May 3: The Jewish guerilla group, Irgun Zvai Leumi breaks into the Akka citadel, releasing 27 Jewish militants, while 9 were killed.
May 17: Jewish military conquers Akka, and all but 3,000 of its Palestinian inhabitants flee.
1949: Incorporated into the new state of Israel.
1990's: Large-scale archaeological excavations and preservations of ancient structures are begun.