Acco (then known as Acre) was conquered by the Crusaders in 1104 A.D. They held Acco even after having lost control of Jerusalem in 1187. It then became the greatest port of their empire. The Mamluks ended Crusader rule in Acco in 1291. Napoleon understood the strategic value of this site. He claimed that if this port city had fallen to him, “the world would have been mine.” His 1799 siege failed.
Acre (also called “Akko”) – one of the World Heritage Sites in Israel.
Because Acre, 22 kilometers north of Haifa, had the best natural harbour on the coast of the Holy Land, it achieved importance from early times.
But its role as the main stronghold of the Crusaders made the most lasting impression on its long and chequered history.
Before the Crusaders took Acre in 1104, the city had been captured by Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks and Muslims. Its name had been expressed as Acre, Akko, Acco or Accho.
It was King Ptolemy of Egypt who called it Ptolemais, the name mentioned by St Luke (Acts 21:7) when he and St Paul visited it at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey around AD 58.
By then a Christian community was already established. Christianity spread rapidly in the city and by AD 190 it had a bishop.