Hospitaller Commandery of Saint-Jean-d'Acre

Acre, Israel

The commandery of Saint-Jean-d'Acre is a monumental complex founded by the Hospitallers. From the first years of the establishment of the Crusaders in the city, the Hospitallers received donated properties. In 1110, King Baldwin granted the permission to them to keep the buildings located to the north of the Sainte-Croix church. In the years 1130, the buildings were damaged during works near the church and the Hospitallers decided to move near the 12th century north wall of the city. This is the actual place of the commandery.

In 1149, the first testimony of the commandery is in a document concerning the construction of the Saint-Jean church. In 1169, a pilgrim described the commandery of the Hospitallers of Acre as a very impressive fortified building.

After the defeat of Hattin in 1187, Saladin took the city. In 1191, during the third Crusade, the Frankish reconquer Acre after its siege. The Hospitallers moved back in their buildings. Jerusalem is no longer in the hands of the crusaders. And so the commandery becomes the new headquarters of the order. A new construction campaign took place between the end of 12th century and 13th century with new wings and additional floors.

Architecture

The courtyard has an area of 1200 m2 and is surrounded by a series of arcades. On the east side, a staircase leads to the upper parts. A well with a depth of 4.5 m is located near the north side and two shallow pools are next to this well. On the south side a pool with a depth of 1.5 m and another well were built.

The north wing was built along the north wall. There are ten vaulted rooms ten meters high built during the Frankish era. The exterior wall is massive with a thickness of 3.5 m. Later to the west, two new rooms will complete this building. In the south wall, there are windows that overlook a narrow passage and the wall of the pillar room. The entrance of the building is in the south side wall.

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Address

El Jazzar Street 9, Acre, Israel
See all sites in Acre

Details

Founded: 1110
Category: Castles and fortifications in Israel

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cedric Martin (8 months ago)
Amazing medieval site! If you love history, you're gonna like it for sure. The Hospitallers' fortress and Knights hall, the old underground medieval passages, the Al-Jazzar mosque etc.
Deb Werenko (9 months ago)
Buy your combo tickets here for the citadel, museums, bathhouse and Templar’s Tunnel. It was well worth the 49 sheckal price for all of them. The citadel itself was a really well done and well preserved structure. There was an excellent entertaining audio guide and I especially enjoyed the bathhouse videos. We also paid the extra for the Leonardo de Vinci exhibit and enjoyed that.
Lukas Jaromin (12 months ago)
Really nice. The audio guided round walk with 45 stations is entertaining and keeps captivated. Acre (Akko) has a rich history which is actually great explained during the walkabout.
Dan Maarek (14 months ago)
Not my first time and still worth the time. The walk on the citadel at sunset is priceless, the view on the sea, the wind, the city, everything is just perfect. I warmly recommend the experience.
Marcus Hurley (2 years ago)
We stayed in Acre overnight, primarily to visit the Citadel. We arrived just before 9 and went straight in. There is a nice route laid out with plenty of information boards and exhibits. There is lots of information about the Military Orders, the Crusades, life at that period as well as an area that is family friendly with interactive displays and I think some dressing up areas. The place is obviously pretty large and it took a couple of hours to see everything and by then it was crowded with lots of coach parties so if you want to see it in peace, arrive at opening time. I'd recommend combing this with a trip to the nearby tunnels (very quick - 15 minutes there and back) and also the sea walls to look at the Ottoman walls and remains of the Crusader fortifications.
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