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Photographer's Note

I center Acre, a mile from the old Marine, the Crusader city hiding 7-8 meters lower than the current city. The crusader fortress, belonging to the Knights of the Hospital, lies below street level. The actual building used to be a ruin, which was erected again by the Turks. The Knights's halls are reached by passing a Turkish gate. Only three of the seven halls are open to the public. Each hall belonged to a nationality representing the Hospitallers.

The Halls are believed to be the barracks of the Knights, who together with the other knightly orders in Acco were responsible for the defence of the Latin Kingdom. The Crusader Knights were fighters and monks at the same time, and had very strict moral codes and they could not marry.

Opposite the halls are what were possibly the dormitory and the cloister of the Knights. Next to the cloister lies the dining hall, whose walls have fleur-de-lis decorations in Gothic style carved in the stones.

A pit in the centre of the hall gives access to an underground passage. It was discovered by the Crusaders while they were building the dining hall, and they probably maintained it for its secretive value. The ends of the tunnel have not yet been excavated.

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Additional Photos by Gilad Benari (gilad33) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 0 N: 906] (14318)
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