Ifranj Khan
Acre, Israel
When Acre was the capital of the Crusaders' Kingdom, Khan al-Ifranj (Franks, Europeans) was called the Venetian Hostel (Fundus Venetorum). Situated just in the center of the Venetian quarter, it was located in a convenient proximity to the port. In 1291, as Acre was conquered by the Mamluk Army, the khan like the whole city was deserted and left in ruin. Only in the16th century the first buds of recovery started to sprout as the port of Acre revived some of its old livelihood, especially when in 1535 an agreement was signed between the Ottoman power and the king of France granting special rights to Frenchmen in several east Mediterranean ports, including Acre.

The remains of the Venetian Hostel gradually became the focal point for the activity of the European merchants in Acre. The structure was refurbished by local rulers, apparently starting with the reconstruction by Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha and continuing into the 17th century with restoration work by the Druz ruler Fakhr al-Din. In the middle of the 16th century the Franciscans purchased a few rooms in the khan to serve them as a hospice and later a school. In the 18th century a Franciscan church was built to the north of the khan. The khan is primarily used today by the Franciscan community.

The building, surrounding a square courtyard, is the outcome of several layers of construction while most of it is covered by 20th century additions. The southern façade of the courtyard is the only façade that retains much of its older appearance. It is the façade of a two story high building with large and round open-arches on the ground floor and a vaulted passage leading to the street.



Sources:


Dichter, Bernhard. 2000. Akko-Sites from the Turkish Period. Haifa: University of Haifa. P.59-66

Petersen, Andrew. 2001. A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Part 1.Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 87

Schur, Nathan. 1990. A History of Acre. Tel Aviv: Dvir Publishing House, p. 138- 177
Location
Near the port, middle-eastern part of Old Acre, Acre, Israel
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Events
2nd half of 16th century
Style Periods
1299-1922
Variant Names
Ifranj Khan
Khan al-Ifranj
Variant
Khan al Afranj
Variant
Khan al Faranj (from literary and colloquial Arabic: Franks
Variant
Europeans)
Variant
Building Usages
khan
commercial