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Acre - A view from our expert author
Undoubtedly one of Israel’s most picturesque and historically fascinating places to visit, Acre is a must-see on any itinerary.
The UNESCO-listed Old City of Acre is a historically significant Crusader and Ottoman-period walled town of narrow cosy alleyways and traditional markets © Itamar Grinberg, IMOT
Within the ancient walls, sheltered from modernisation, development and change, Acre’s Old City remains today as it has done throughout its long years of existence. A jumble of cobbled lanes snake around, through and past ancient stone buildings, piled one upon another; majestic, vibrant mosques and churches stream with devout worshippers; immaculately preserved relics remain, left by the city’s passionate invaders; people crowd into the aromatic souks; and the tranquil waters of the ancient sea port lap against the old sea walls. It was on this small peninsula where empires were battled over, where religions clashed and where cultures merged. Acre was one of the most crucial cities of ancient times on a par with Alexandria and Troy, a fact difficult to envisage while wandering the lively yet peaceful alleys that today house large Arab – both Muslim and Christian – populations. The UNESCO-designated Old City is a veritable maze, and while maps are handy, your time would be better spent relaxing into the ambience around you.