The Ottoman Period – part D

1859 – Guillaume Rey, the French archeologist and historian of Crusader ruins, visits Acre. Forty rebellious army officers from throughout the Ottoman Empire are incarcerated in the prison within the former Crusader fortress 221.

1861 – The Dames de Nazareth establish a convent in Acre.

1862 – The Zawiyat al-Shaziliyya (a place of retreat and communion, study, and prayer) of the al-Shaziliyya sect of Sufis (Islamic mystics), is founded by Ali Nur al-Din El Yashruti.

1863–1875 – French geographer and archeologist Victor Guerin visits Acre. He relates that the al-Jazzar Mosque was heavily damaged in 1863 and in several spots had been broken into 223. He further reports on the poor conditions prevailing in Acre’s prison.

1864 – Acre becomes a Sanjak, an administrative district, in the vilayet of Beirut. The Sanjak comprises four subdistricts: Acre, Haifa, Nazareth, and Tiberias 224.

1865 – The Carmelites establish themselves in the area of the Khan al-Faranj.

1867 – The French photographer the travel and fine art photographer Felix Bonfils visits Acre and photographs the city 225. Close to this year, the merchant Emmanuel Maróczy serves as vice consul for Greece and Spain in Acre.

1868 – On December 31, Bahá’u’lláh, established the Bahá’í faith, arrives in Acre and is incarcerated in the prison situated in the Citadel fortress 225a.

1869 – A new Franciscan Church is erected on the remains of the previous church.

1872 – Bahá’u’lláh and some of his followers move their residence to House of ‘Údí Khammar next to the city’s western wall. Within a year they also acquire the house of Elias ‘Abbúd that adjoins the Khamir house, and reside in both these houses. In 1877, Bahá’u’lláh moves to the “Mansion of Mazra’a” in the nearby village of that name, where he resides until 1879. He then moves to the “Mansion of the Bahji”, located in what is today the Bahá’í Gardens north of Acre.

1872–1873 – While living in the ‘Abbúd House in Acre, Bahá’u’lláh writes al-Kitāb al-Aqdas (“The Most Holy Book”, also called “The Book of Laws”), the most important book of the Bahá’í faith.

1874 – Johann Nepomuk Sepp the noted German religious historian, along with his son, the historian Bernhard Sepp, and Hans Prutz, the German historian and authority on the Crusader period, arrive once more to Acre. Prutz, contends that the bones of Frederick I Barbarossa Holy Roman Emperor, that were lost at sea off Turkey in 1190 on their way to the Holy Land at the head of the Third Crusade, were brought to Acre and buried in an unknown location 226.

1875 – The map of Rabbi Chaim Salomon Pinia of Zefat of is published in Hebrew and German. The city appears as Akko in Hebrew and by its European name, St. Jean de Acre 227.

1875–1876 – In the Carmelite monastery in Haifa, memorial monuments are placed in remembrance of the French officers and soldiers who fell during Napoleon’s siege of Acre 228.

1876 – Rabbi Rachamim Yosef Oplatka visits Acre and describes its Jewish minority and its small port 228a. He notes the name of Shlomo Barkhash the teacher, cantor and ritual slaughterer of Acre’s Jewish community. Likewise he mentions the name of Sir Moses Finzi, the city’s British consul.

1881 – Claude Regnier Conder, of the Palestine Exploration Fund (author of “Tent work in Palestine,” 1878), journeys throughout Palestine. He makes mention of the aqueduct to Acre.

1883 – British diplomat, author, and traveler Laurence Oliphant visits Acre in October 229.

1884 – Gottlieb Schumacher, a German-American engineer and archeologist, member of the Protestant Templer community, visits Acre. French zoologist and Egyptologist Louis Charles Émile Lortet visits Acre as part of his comprehensive expedition in Palestine. He produces several maps and hundreds of paintings, among them of Acre.

1887 – In this year, approximately 300 ships anchor in Acre port, transporting grain crops primarily to Europe 230.

1889 – Machlouf al-Daoudi is appointed by the Ottoman authorities as the last Hakham Bashi (Turkish: Chief Rabbi) of the city and district of Acre. He serves in this capacity until his death in 1910. (Dichter, apparently in error, writes that al-Daoudi was Hakham Bashi of Acre until 1925) 232.

1889–1910 –During this period, Tahsin Pasha serves as Turkish High Commissioner in Acre 231.

1892 – Bahá’u’lláh, the founder and leader of the Bahá’í faith, dies in the “Mansion of the Bahji” and is buried there.

1894 – The Mapah Derekh Emet (Hebrew: “Way of Truth” Map) by Avigdor ben Rabbi Mordechai Malkov is published in Hebrew and Russian. Acre appears by its Hebrew name Akko; the bay is called “Tongue of the Middle Sea.” South of Acre, the Na’aman stream is shown emptying into the “Great” or “Middle Sea” 233. Nine hundred ninety-one sailing vessels and 66 steamships, with a capacity totaling 72,000 tons, make harbor in the Acre port 233a.

1898 – Ali Nur el-Din el-Yashruti dies; he was the founder of the al-Shaziliyya Sufis in Acre. He is buried on the grounds of the Zawiyat al-Shaziliyya, where his son and grandson are also laid to rest.

1906 – The Clock Tower, commemorating 25 years of Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s rule, is erected at the facade of Khan al-Umdan.

1909 – The engineer Gottlieb Schumacher publicizes a plan to build the “new Acre.” The proffered plan is a horizontal and vertical network of streets and buildings.

1910 – The Turks breach the northern walls of the Old City to create two additional entrances: at Weizmann Street and at Ha-Haganah Street beside the western wall.

1911 – In a newspaper article it is reported that there are, in Acre, 180 Jews, the majority of whom are craftsmen 234.

1913 – On October 14, a railway line is inaugurated between Acre and Balad al-Shaykh (today’s Tel Hanan north of Haifa). The station building is erected near the Land Gate of the Old City, within the grounds of today’s Naval Officers School 235. Six hundred ninety-one sailing vessels and 36 steamships with a capacity totaling of 26,000 tons make harbor in the Acre port.

1914 – World-renowned agronomist Aaron Aaronsohn, founder and head of NILI (a Jewish espionage network in Palestine that spied for Britain during World War I), visits Acre. He predicts for Acre and its surroundings a glowing future in agriculture, but that the Acre port will be eclipsed by Haifa’s 236.

1915–1916 – Jewish community leaders of Acre, calling themselves Adat Jeshurun Akko (“the Community of the People of Israel in Acre”) make repeated financial aid requests to the assistant to Arthur Ruppin of the Zionist Organization’s Palestine Bureau (“Eretz Yisrael Office”), but to no avail 237.

1916 –In January the Mutessarif (Governor/Commissioner) of Acre arrives in Damascus for an assembly regarding the matter of extending agricultural lands to reduce the current famine 238. The Sykes-Picot Agreement allocates to Britain the a small enclave around Haifa that will include Acre.

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