Acre, (Hebrew: Akko), Israel, a small city on the northern shore of the Bay of Acre across from Haifa. It dates from at least the 15th century B.C., when it was an important Phoenician port known as Acco (Accho in the Old Testament). It was a rich prize for invading Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Israelites. As part of ancient Israel it belonged in turn to the Persian, Seleucid, and Roman empires. In the New Testament it is called Ptolemais.
Acre was taken by Muslim Arabs in 638. In 1104, during the First Crusade, the Christians captured it and named it St. Jean d'Acre. Retaken by the Saracens (Muslims) in 1187, it was besieged for two years during the Third Crusade and recaptured by Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip II of France in 1191. It was the major Palestinian port of the Crusaders for 100 years, until it fell again to the Saracens.
In the early 16th century the city passed from Egyptian to Ottoman Turkish rule. The Turks defended it successfully against Napoleon in 1799, but lost it to Egypt in 1832-40. It was part of the British mandate of Palestine after World War I, and became part of Israel in 1948. The ancient harbor has gradually filled with silt. There are historic structures and ruins dating back to the Romans and the Crusaders.
Population: about 34,000.