Crusader Ships Anchored in Acre Harbour
Poster eines Vortrages 2007 zum Thema
Schiffbau im Mittelalter von Dr. Ulrich Alertz, Aachen
Plan of Acre by
Pietro Vesconte (around 1320)
Detail of a reconstructive drawing of the city done by Jonathan Riley-Smith,
published in Der Grosse Bilderatlas der Kreuzzüge, Herder Publishers, Freiburg, 1992.
The approximate part of the modell is marked in red.
Acre was the second city in the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, having been in Frankish hands from 1104 to 1187 and again from 1191 to 1291. The city was the main harbour of the kingdom in the 12th century and its capital in the 13th. It was also the centre of all military orders. Its loss in 1291 marked the end of the Crusader states in the Holy Land. Today it is a small harbour town in North Israel, situated on a promontory north of Haifa. Substantial remains of the city of the Crusaders are preserved underground of today’s old town, but they have only been excavated to a small extent. The city, surrounded by a double wall with towers at regular intervals and moats, was extended to the north in the 13th century (suburb of Montmusard). The city’s core was divided up into districts (Genoese, Venetian, Pisan, Templars, Hospitallers etc.), which were fortified mostly separately. The most important monument preserved is the fortress-like complex of the residence of the Hospitallers to the north, excavated in the last years.
The modell shows a detail of
Acre Harbour from the middle of the 13th century earlier than 1291. Two
scientifically researched and historically documented types of ships are
shown true to detail: A galley, called Tarida, which was built for the
the armada of Karl of Anjon in 1274 equipped for 108 oarsmen. Moreover
there is a nave from 1246, a ship for 450 pilgrims, from the armada of
Ludwig IX, who was known as the Saint.
al-•azna ("Tower of the
Tower of the Northern city wall, in its lower parts from Crusader Times.
("Yard of the Chain“)
Frankish customs facilities of the harbour
Residency of the Hospitallers, courtyard
Galley in the foreground; Nave in the background
|Fotos: Bernhard Siepen; Bilder von Akkon: Dr. Mathias Piana, Augsburg||
April 2008: Completion of
the modell Crusader Ships Anchored in Acre Harbour with about 400
figurines altogether. The figurine scenes show: The unlading of the freshly
arrived galley with crusaders ready to fight, the departure of the nave,
which had been designed for 400 pilgrims and crusaders heading home. In
front of the walls of the Yard of the Chain the typical dynamic
harbour and bazaar life and many travellers waiting for another ship can be
observed: There are weary pilgrims, crusaders, casualties, sick and last but
not least many war invalids.