Under the abode of the Crusader order in an ancient acre, archaeological excavations were discovered in the halls of Knights. After a massive renovation, luxurious rooms and quite a few tools were revealed that teach us about the way of life of the Knights Hospitallers. On a guided tour of Acre, you can hear The story of the place with a private tour guide in acre every day and return in time through the market of ancient craftsmen of the 12th century
WHAT TO SEE IN THE KNIGHTS' HALLS IN ACRE?
The tour of the halls of Knights will bring you back to the 11th century, the period when the Crusaders lived in the ancient acre and the city flourished in trade. And not just any. Acre was second in importance to the Crusader Kingdom and even became its capital during the second Crusader Kingdom (1191-1291). During this period, the city expanded, several neighborhoods and quarters were built in it, among which was the Hospitaller quarter.
THE HOSPITALLERS KNIGHTS - THE BEGINNING
In the Military Order of the Hospitallers lived monks who engraved their banner to care for the sick in the Holy Land alongside guarding the pilgrims who visited holy places. During the period of the first Crusader Kingdom (1099-1187), the order established its headquarters in Jerusalem but copied it to Acre during the second Crusader Kingdom.
Already during the first Crusader Kingdom, the Hospitallers had a quarter in Acre, but with the relocation of the headquarters to Acre they expanded the headquarters and built the new complex, which was spread in two-three floors around a central courtyard and also included underground areas in favor of a sewage system and reservoirs.
The new complex is not it the Crusader Citadel also known as the Hospitaller citadel, so impressive that thanks to him UNESCO awarded the city of Acre the title of a World Cultural Heritage City.
The Hospitaller district, which is the Crusader fortress in Acre, included three main buildings – the headquarters, which is now known as the halls of knights, the Church of St. John, and a hospital. Acre prospered until the kingdom of the Crusaders collapsed and acre was destroyed. It was rebuilt only in the Ottoman period, also on the ruins of the Hospitaller fortress. What you will see on a visit to the knights' halls in acre was revealed during many years of archaeological excavations. And if you are wondering what the size of the entire fortress was, do not skip the diagram at the entrance to the halls of the Knights illustrating even the unrecoverable parts.
THE HOSPITALLER FORTRESS, KNOWN AS THE HALLS OF KNIGHTS - CENTRAL COURTYARD
As already mentioned, in the center of the halls of the Knights stands a central courtyard, in which there are two water wells and ponds. The northern well was used for drinking and washing and the Southern for bathing and the pools drained water channels, which were located below the yard level. Around the courtyard are arches carrying stairs leading to the rooms on the second floor.
In this hall, you will see 6 separate spaces and between the openings in the form of an arch. In its southern wall are two openings, one leading through a covered corridor to the art hall and the other – to the headquarters and from there to the gate of St. Mary.
VESSELS OF SUGAR HALL
Three-story building. On the lower floor agro-rainwater. Right above it is the hall that received the name of the sugar vessel hall thanks to a multitude of pottery found in it during excavations, which were used as a sugar vessel. Further findings prove that here produced crystal sugar, which became one of the most important industries in the Crusader period in the country.
Covered passage with an arc-shaped gate between the central courtyard and the northern moat.
The north-western tower and the main sewage system
Three-story tower, which served as a public toilet. On the first floor, underground sewage was drained from all toilet rooms, and on both floors above – toilet rooms.
THE WEST WING
This Wing has not yet been excavated, but thanks to architectural remains discovered in an avalanche in the wing, it seems to be built in the Gothic style. Entered it from the central courtyard and it was probably used for living.
REFACTORING HALL (DINING ROOM)
Three round columns with a diameter of about 3 meters hold a system of eight-pointed cross vaults that make up the Hall. At the top of each stone supporting the vaults, you can see reliefs of bouquets, baskets, or lily leaves. The room was probably used as the dining room of the order. Further, in the part that has not yet been excavated, probably there was a kitchen. Under the dining room found a rainwater storage system was used for drinking water for diners.
THE ART HALL
In this hall, a system of support columns (art) arranged rows-rows and was probably used as a gathering and storage room of the headquarters.
During the excavations, an urban street was discovered, which stretched from the gate in the northern city wall to the Hospitaller complex, and passed through the territory of the Hospitaller district. Here they built a gate that allowed Hospitallers to block the passage in times of distress.
THE BEAUTIFUL HALL
This hall is characterized by chiseled gazebos and decorated regular Windows. Adjacent to the Hospitaller headquarters and connected to the public street. Probably served the pilgrims who moved in the city for rest.
HALL OF BANS
This hall is not directly related to the Hospitaller complex, but the public street. His floor is carved into the natural rock and is lower than the buildings adjacent to it. Except for the only opening fixed in the south of the building, there are no additional windows in the structure that allowed the entry of light into the structure. Dozens of square holes along the walls served as metal hooks to which prisoners were attached.
TOUR OF THE HALLS OF KNIGHTS
The visit to the halls of Knights can be done at your own pace. Read the signs that are fixed in each hall and enter the world of Knights. If you want to hear wider explanations, you can get an audio headset at the entrance to the site. Explanations are given in eight languages-Hebrew, Arabic, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. To do this, you must leave a certificate that identifies it and you will receive a return with the return of the headphones.
Apart from the headphones, some rooms breathe life and illustrate the life of the past with a projection on the walls. Also, on weekends the Crusader Street was revived with workshops of professionals who operated at that time – steel blacksmithing, glass blacksmithing, embroidering, weaving, pottery, perfumery production, braiding baskets, etc.
SPECIAL EVENTS IN THE HALLS OF KNIGHTS
During the holidays, holidays and part of the year's seasons, special activities and events are held in the halls of the Knights, such as music and opera performances, children's activities, and creative workshops on artists ' Avenue, a complex of virtual reality glasses and the restoration of knightly battles in the Hippodrome.
TRAINING IN THE HALLS OF KNIGHTS
Want to see the halls of knights and hear the piquant and interesting stories that you will not hear in headphones and will not read on the boards instead? The private guided tour of the Israeli western coast will provide these stories and will be able to reveal to you more of the magic and mystery found in the ancient city of acre