Khan al-Umdan

Acre, Israel

Khan al-Umdan ('Caravanserai of the Pillars') is the largest and best preserved caravanserai (roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey) in Israel. Located in the Old City of Acre, it is one of the prominent projects constructed during the rule of Ahmed Jezzar Pasha in Galilee, under the Ottoman era.

Being one of four Khans in Acre, Khan al-Umdan was built in 1784 on the place of the Royal Customs house of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It incorporates forty columns made of granite that were taken from Caesarea, Atlit and the ruins of Crusader monuments in Acre itself.

Due to its proximity to the port, Khan al-Umdan has throughout its history been an important trading spot. Merchants arriving at Acre used the khan as a warehouse while the second floor functioned as a hostel. Camel caravans once brought produce and grain from Galilean villages to the city's markets and port.

The khan later gained importance to the Baháʼí Faith (as the Khán-i-'Avámid) as it was the site where Baha'ullah used to receive guests, and later the site for a Baháʼí school.

In 1906 a clock tower was added adjacent to the main entrance to the khan to commemorate the silver jubilee of the rule of Ottoman sultan Abd al-Hamid II. It is similar to the Jaffa Clock Tower, a building dedicated to the same purpose, along with five more towers in Ottoman Palestine (in Jerusalem, Haifa, Safed, Nablus, and possibly Nazareth) and over a hundred across the entire empire.

In 2001 Khan al-Umdan, together with the rest of Acre's old city, was designated as a world heritage site. Nowadays, the khan is a major tourist attraction open all hours of the day and used as an open-air stage during festivals in the city, such as the theater festival of Acre during the month of October.


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Asher Street 37, Acre, Israel
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Founded: 1784
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Israel


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Frank Ortiz-Perez (2 years ago)
best place i've every been to highly recommend
New world Order (4 years ago)
last time i was there i wanted to visit it so bad but it was closed to the public unfortunately
Müslüm Gök (4 years ago)
It is good place, but I don't know if it is worth to visit
Raphael Peleg (4 years ago)
The site itself is closed, ? can only see it from out side
Rebecca Radnor (4 years ago)
Closed to public, think they've condemned it. You can see the outside and peek through the iron fence at the entrance, but that's it...
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