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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.
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
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.
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.
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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