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Akko (Acre)

Akko, or Acre, is one of the oldest port cities in the world, and its recorded history dates back to the Early Bronze Age.

The origin of the name “Acre” is unknown.

According to Jewish tradition when the ocean was created, it expanded until it reached Acre and then G-d said “Ad Ko” meaning up until here and the name developed over time to Akko.

Greek legend say it got it’s name from the Greek word for medicine Ákē  because after one of his many battles Hercules found healing herbs here.

Like Yafo, Akko was a Canaanite city. It was later ruled by the Phoenicians and then Persian.

It was at some point conquered by King Tut and later by Alexander the Great.

After his death, Akko became under the control of the Ptolemaic dynasty and was eventually handed down to Cleopatra.

During the Hasmonean Dynasty there was a Jewish presence in the city and after the destruction of the Temple, the Jewish community grew.

By the 9th century the city had a substantial Jewish population and grew to become one of the most important Jewish communities in Israel and abroad.

In the 19th centaury numbers of Jews living in the city dwindled to less than 200. However, in the 20th century they went back up.

Waves of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries settled in Akko in the 1920s reviving the 2000 year old Jewish community.

Today, it more than half of the city is Jewish and the remaining 40% being Muslim and Christian.

The majority of the Arabs in the city live in ancient and most interesting section called Old Akko which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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