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The remains of a Crusader breakwater and the massive Ottoman seawalls still protect the ancient city of Acre from the ocean rollers of the Mediterranean.
In the Middle Ages Jewish scholars arrived in Israel through the port at Acre and some settled in the town. In 1211, 300 rabbis from France and England arrived, and in 1260 Rabbi Jehiel ben Joseph of Paris remained in the town together with his son and 300 pupils, and promptly founded a yeshiva. Scholars of Israel and Babylon addressed their questions to the "scholars of Acre." The town became a center of study and attracted many scholars, such as Rabbi Abraham Abulafia and N|ahmanides. In time the community dwindled but was revived again in the 18th century. It became a political and military center strong enough to resist Napoleon's advance in 1799, and cause the collapse of his Middle Eastern expeditions.
During the British Mandate, a fortress in the town served as a prison where members of the Haganah including Moshe Dayan, as well as Vladimir Jabotinsky, were imprisoned.
Today Acre has been rebuilt as a modern industrial center with some 40,000 residents, but still contains an Old City with remains from the Ottoman period (I516--1918) which include the double wall of the city, the citadel, and a beautiful mosque still used by Acre's Arab population.
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