AKKO THE LEGEND
By Ross Belfer
In Israel, there’s no place outside of Tel Aviv that seems to quench my thirst for discovery and inspiration quite like Akko. Its Old City ruins, dating back to Byzantine, Crusader, Islamic and Ottoman times, present a timeless display of rulers and conquerers that have left their mark on the city with a true architectural glory.
A robust culinary market, preserved fortified, coastal walls, and a diversified population of residents — spanning from Muslims and Christians, Jews and Baha’i, and even Sufis — position Akko as Israel’s least celebrated-yet-most-unique city and locale this side of the Mediterranean.
Through my 4+ years in Israel, I’ve traveled to Akko on countless occasions, most often for meetings with the legendary chef, hotelier and tourism innovator, Uri “Buri” Jeremias, and stays at his Efendi Hotel, an Ottoman palace-cum-boutique property restored to meticulous perfection over an eight-year period. In this case, words are only delaying the visual journey that awaits you below, or better, yet to see in Akko for yourself. I can only hope that my photographs will inspire each viewer to make the visit for themselves.