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El-Jazzar Mosque Review
This house of worship, the largest mosque in the country outside of Jerusalem, is also considered one of the most beautiful in Israel. Ahmed el-Jazzar, who succeeded Dahr el-Omar after having him assassinated, ruled Akko from 1775 to 1804. During his reign he built this mosque along with other public structures. His cruelty was so legendary that he earned the epithet "the Butcher." (He is buried next to his adopted son in a small white building to the right of the mosque.)
Just beyond the entrance is a pedestal engraved with graceful calligraphy; it re-creates the seal of a 19th-century Ottoman sultan. Some of the marble and granite columns that adorn the mosque and courtyard were plundered from the ruins of Caesarea. In front of the mosque, known in Arabic as Jama el-Basha, or the Pasha's Mosque, is an ornate fountain used by the faithful for ritual washings of hands and feet before prayer. Inside the mosque, enshrined in the gallery reserved for women, is a reliquary containing a hair believed to be from the beard of the prophet Muhammad; it is removed only once a year, on the 27th day of Ramadan.
The mosque closes five times a day for prayers, so you might have a short wait. Dress modestly.
- Address: Off El-Jazzar St., Akko, 24110
- Phone: 04/991-3039
- Cost: NIS 6
- Hours: Sat.–Thurs. 8–5, Fri. 8–11 and 1–5.
- Location: Akko
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