Definitions

Akko

Akko

Akko or Acre, Fr. Saint-Jean d'Acre, Arab. Acca, city (1994 pop. 45,300), NW Israel, a port on the Bay of Haifa (an arm of the Mediterranean Sea). Its manufactures include iron and steel, chemicals, and textiles. The city was captured (A.D. 638) by the Arabs, who developed its natural harbor. In 1104 it was captured in the First Crusade and was held by Christians until 1187, when it was taken by Saladin. In the Third Crusade it was won back (1191) by Guy of Lusignan, Richard I of England, and Philip II of France, who gave it to the Knights Hospitalers (the Knights of St. John, hence its French name). For the next century it was the center of the Christian possessions in the Holy Land. Its surrender and virtual destruction by the Saracens in 1291 marked the decline of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusades. Akko was taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1517 and was revived in the late 18th cent. under Dahir al-Umar, the local Ottoman ruler. In 1799, Ottoman forces, with the aid of Great Britain, withstood a 61-day siege by Napoleon I. The city was taken in 1832 by Ibrahim Pasha for Muhammad Ali of Egypt, but European and Ottoman forces won it back for the Ottoman Empire in 1840. British troops captured the city in 1918. Akko was assigned to the Arabs in the 1948 partition of Palestine, but it was captured by Israeli forces in the Arab-Israeli war of that year. By the 1990s its population was about three fourths Jewish and one fourth Arab. The city is a popular tourist site. Landmarks include an ancient citadel, walled fortifications, the al-Jazzar mosque, and several churches dating from the Crusades.
or Acre

Seaport town (pop., 2004 est.: 45,600), northwestern Israel. First mentioned in an Egyptian text from the 19th century BC, it was long a Canaanite and Phoenician city. After its conquest by Alexander the Great (336 BC), it was a Greek polity (called Philadelphus), and for several centuries it was part of the Roman Republic and Empire. The city was being ruled by the Turkish Seljūq dynasty when the Crusaders captured it in 1104 and renamed it St. Jean d'Acre. It was the last capital of the Crusades, falling in 1291. Except for brief intervals, it was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 until British forces took it in 1918. It was part of Palestine under the British mandate and became part of Israel in 1948, when most of its Arab inhabitants fled. Notable structures include the Great Mosque and the Crypt of St. John. It is the burial place of Bahāhamzah Ullāh, the founder of the Bahāhamzahī faith.

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