Glimpses of Israel - Acre

by Joseph Hunting

Ezekiel's prophecy: "I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings" has significance regarding Israel's coastal ports, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Joppa and Acre (or Accho as it was called in Bible times).

Each of these port cities has a history that reaches back into antiquity. They were part of the Via Maris along which marched the armies of ancient Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. Acre played host port to the Phoenician mariners that sailed the huge rafts of cedar logs from Lebanon to beautify Solomon's Temple.

Today, Acre has an old-world charm about it that has long since disappeared from many of its sister ports along Israel's Mediterranean coast. The massive sea-wall, part of the ancient city's fortifications, is so well preserved it could last another thousand years. Embedded in the walls surrounding the old moat are cannon balls that are reminders of Napoleon's invasion which started and ended at Acre.

Part of Acre's past history may be seen in the magnificently preserved Crusader crypts under a section of the old city. And someone has said that Acre's clocks stopped centuries ago. After leaving the hustle and bustle of busy down-town Haifa just across the bay one could believe they did just that!