Akko: The Maritime Capital of the Crusader Kingdom
The port city of Akko (also known as Acre) is located on a promontory at the northern end of Haifa Bay. The earliest city was founded during the Bronze Age at Tel Akko (in Arabic Tel el-Fukhar mound of the potsherds), just east of the present-day city. Akko is mentioned in ancient written sources as an important city on the northern coast of the Land of Israel. The wealth of finds, including remains of fortifications uncovered in the excavations at Tel Akko, attest to the long and uninterrupted occupation of the site during biblical times.
The ancient site of Akko was abandoned during the Hellenistic period. A new city named Ptolemais, surrounded by a fortified wall, was built on the site of present-day Akko. The Romans improved and enlarged the natural harbor in the southern part of the city, and constructed a breakwater, thus making it one of the main ports on the eastern Mediterranean coast.
The importance of Akko a well protected, fortified city with a deepwater port is reflected in its eventful history during the period of Crusader rule in the Holy Land.
[ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]