The Templars, who were also known as the Poor
Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon,
built this tunnel. In the second half of the 12th
century they built their quarter in the
southwestern part of Akko. Discovered in 1994,
this tunnel, which was carved into the bedrock has
been open to the public since August of 1999.
You could easily miss it, if you did not know
of its existence and since it will only take a few
minutes of your time it would be a shame to miss
it if you are already walking in the area.
The tunnel leads from the port in the east to
the fortress in the western part of the city. It
is about 1050 feet (350 meters long) and crosses
the Pisan quarter. To maintain a fixed groundwater
level a special water pumping system had to be
installed and a wooden walkway was constructed
above the water so that when visitors walk they
can see the water on either side of the walkway.
The water, by the way, is fresh water and not salt
water as one might expect.
King Baldwin II of Jerusalem gave the Order
lodging in his palace – near the area where the
Jewish Temple had once been, which how the Order
got its name, The Order of the Poor Knights of
Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. It was
established in Jerusalem during the Crusade era
when pilgrims were routinely attacked by Muslims.
Eight or nine French knights who decided something
had to be done to safeguard passage of the
pilgrims established the Order specifically to
ensure the pilgrims protection.
With time, the Order expanded its activities
beyond the protection of pilgrims and became a
formidable military strength with considerable
wealth. The Order also became extremely secretive.
Fear of their increasing strength led to
accusations of heresy by King Philip IV of France
and ultimately resulted in the suppression of the
Order by Pope Clement V in March of 1312.
Subsequently – Jaques de Molay, the Order’s grand
master was burned at the stake in 1314.
Directions: The port side entrance to the
tunnel is located on Haganah Street, near the Uri
Visiting Hours: Daily 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Entry fees: Adults, 10 NIS/pp, Children and
Senior Citizens, 7 NIS/pp.