The old city of Acre is one of Israel’s top treasures, a gorgeous ancient city dating back thousands of years overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with a very high concentration of terrific tourist attractions. In my previous visits to Acre I just walked the old city markets, enjoyed the fortifications and the local food, but in my last visit to Acre I made it my mission to explore the city as a tourist, to try and see everything that Acre has to offer. And what a lovely surprise that was. Beneath the old city is a maze of underground tunnels connecting between the different tourist attractions, taking you into a journey in regional history visiting many religious and political conflicts that took place in the city.


A good place to start off your exploration of the city and the Ottoman-Crusader Route is at the Crusader Fortress, or the Hospitaller Fortress, a UNESCO heritage site, the center of power for the crusaders between the 12th and 15th century.


Crusader Fortress Acre (1) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (12) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (16)


You’ll get to follow the footsteps of Salah ad-Din and Richard the Lionheart to see the courtyards, the Knight halls, the towers, the gates, and most interestingly – underground fortified market street and tunnels connecting with other fortifications in the city.


Crusader Fortress Acre (14) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (18) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (7)

 Crusader Fortress Acre (9)

Crusader Fortress Acre (2) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (8) 

Crusader Fortress Acre (15) 


From the halls you can take underground tunnels…


Crusader Fortress Acre (20)

 Crusader Fortress Acre (22)


To the historical market streets…


 Crusader Fortress Acre (23)

 Crusader Fortress Acre (24)

 Crusader Fortress Acre (25)


They have superb audio tours and detailed maps taking you step by step through the complicated history of the Muslims and the Christians fighting for the gateway to the holy land.


And once out, you can do another round of underground tunnels to the area of the Hamam and other city fortifications…


Underground tunnels Acre

 Underground tunnels Acre-001

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An exciting day of exploring regional history in a gorgeous ancient city. There aren’t many places in the world as rich in history as Acre, an under-appreciated gem.

Tags: acre; Crusader Fortress; heritage site; markets; Northern Israel; old city; Ottoman-Crusader Route; The Hospitaller Fortress; underground tunnels; unesco;

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