Visiting the Al Jazzar Mosque
Visiting the Al Jazzar Mosque can be combined with a tour of other sights in Akko. The Old City of Akko is very small and all sights are within walking distance. Opening hours change according to prayer times, but the mosque is usually open. Phone: 04-9913039; entrance price: NIS 10
This is the second largest Mosque in Israel after the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The mosque was built in 1781 on the ruins of a church that was built on the ruins of a mosque from the early Muslim era. The mosque is named after the ruler of Acre at the end of the 18th century. The Ottoman Empire ruled the Middle East for four hundred years, from 1517 to 1917, but after a short golden age the empire gradually declined. The central government was weak and local rulers controlled large areas. When Dhaher al-Omar, a Bedouin ruler of Galilee, appropriated too much authority and started establishing connections with hostile European empires, the sultan in Istanbul decided to put an end to Dhaher autonomy. Al Jazzar, a Bosnian officer that was known for his cruelty (Al Jazzar means “the butcher” in Arabic; his real name was Jezzar Pasha), was sent to assassinate Dhaher. After completing the task he became the governor of Acre. At the time of his rule he fought against Napoleon.
The mosque was built during the reign of Al-Jazzar, and he is buried next to it. Once a year, at the Eid al-Fitr celebration, a hair – which according to tradition comes from the beard of Mohammed – is presented in the mosque.