The el-Jazzar Mosque inside the walls of the old city of Acre is named after the Ottoman Bosnian governor Ahmad Pasha el-Jazzar ('the Butcher').
El-Jazzar ordered the mosque's construction in 1781 and had it completed within the year. Despite lacking architectural training, el-Jazzar was the architect of the mosque, drawing up its plans and design, and supervising its entire construction. In addition to the mosque itself, the complex included an Islamic theological academy with student lodging, an Islamic court and a public library. The mosque was built for religious purposes, but its grandiose size and additional functions were also intended by el-Jazzar to serve as a means of consolidating his political legitimacy as ruler of Syria. He modeled the mosque on the mosques of Istanbul, the Ottoman capital.
The el-Jazzar Mosque was built over former Muslim and Christian prayer houses and other Crusader buildings. Building materials for the mosque, particularly its marble and granite components, were taken from the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Atlit and medieval Acre. El-Jazzar commissioned several Greek masons as the mosque's builders. There is a tughra or monogram on a marble disc inside the gate, naming the ruling Sultan, his father, and bearing the legend 'ever-victorious'.
Adjacent to the mosque is a mausoleum and small graveyard containing the tombs of Jazzar Pasha and his adoptive son and successor, Sulayman Pasha, and their relatives.
The mosque is an excellent example of Ottoman architecture, which incorporated both Byzantine and Persian styles. Some of its fine features include the green dome and minaret, a green-domed sabil next to its steps (a kiosk, built by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, for dispensing chilled drinking water and beverages) and a large courtyard.
The mosque, that is dominating Acre's skyline, was originally named Masjid al-Anwar (the 'Great Mosque of Lights') and is also known as the White Mosque because of its once silvery-white dome that glittered at a great distance. The dome is now painted green. The minaret has a winding staircase of 124 steps.
It is the largest mosque in Israel outside of Jerusalem.
The mosque houses the Sha'r an-Nabi, a hair (or lock of hair) from the beard of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sha'r an-Nabi used to be paraded through Acre on Eid al-Fitr, ending the fast of Ramadan, but is now only shown to the congregation. The relic is kept inside the mosque in a glass cabinet placed at the women's upper floor gallery.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.