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Historical Sites In The Holy Land Coin Series

AKKO - 1986. Few places in Israel can compete with Akko in the combination of scenery, human pageantry and historical sites. Settlement of the city began in the Bronze Age. It appears in Babylonian and Egyptian sources, at the beginning of the second millennium BCE, under the name of Akko and it will continue under this name or its derivatives (for example Akka or Acre) throughout history.

Every culture has left its imprint and every age its memorials - from the treacherous murder of Jonathan the Hasmonean in Hellenistic Ptolomais, the invention of glass from the city dunes, the preaching of St. Paul the Apostle, building of the port by the Egyptian lbn Tuluns, the Crusaders' rule, the building of the walls by the Ottomans, the unsuccessful siege of Napoleon, the Arab strategic center during the War of Independence, until its capitulation to the IDF, settlement by new immigrants, the expansion beyond the ancient walls and the creation of the modern town. A history of over four thousand years of continuous human occupation along the fishermen's coast and the blue waters of the bay.

The city reached it peak under Crusaders' rule (1104-1291), when the port of Akko became the entrance to the kingdom for merchants, Crusaders and naval fleets. The capture of the city by Saladin (1187) brought Jerusalem into Moslem hands. One of the greatest Crusades in history, the Third Crusade, led by Richard the Lionhearted, ensued. The city was besieged and handed over to the Crusader hosts and became the official capital of the kingdom. A Jewish community comprising Jews of different origins, flourished, and important personalities such as R. Samson of Sens and, at the end of his life, Nachmanides, lived therein. Akko was the center and crossroads of worldly importance. All this disappeared with the fall of the city (1291) into the hands of the Mameluks. The city reached a second age of glory when it came under control of a Bedouin Sheikh, who imposed his rule over the Galilee, and set up the town as his capital (18th century). A Jewish community was established and among its outstanding personalities were R. Hayyim Ben Attar and R. Moses Hayyim Luzatto. During the rule of the Sheikh's heir, who was known because of his cruelty by the name of Jezzar (the butcher), the fortifications of the town were renewed, using Crusaders' stones and columns brought in from Ascalon and Caesarea. An aqueduct brought water from Kabri and trade developed in the khans of the town. The Jew, Hayyim Parhi, served as financial advisor to the ruler and the Jewish community benefitted from his standing.

During Turkish rule and afterwards during the British Mandate, the Crusaders' fortress served as a prison where members of the Haganah and other underground organizations were imprisoned and where members of the lrgun were brought to the scaffold. In the War of Independence, the city capitulated to the IDF forces of the Carmeli Division in May 1948.
Description of the coin
Obverse:
Four elements harmoniously integrated. The Bay of Akko enclosed by the city wall. the most famous site in Akko, the so-called "Crypt". Through an arched gate can be seen two giant pillars a Fleur de Lis. which was to become the future emblem of the French monarchy.

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