Acre's Old Saray
Acre, Israel
Acre's Old Saray, forming the west wall of al-Jazzar's mosque's courtyard, is a two-story building surrounding a rectangular courtyard on three sides. A graceful arcade overlooks the courtyard from the upper floor through pointed arches resting on slender columns. The remainder of the complex is enclosed by a high wall from which one enters the courtyard through an elegantly decorated gate. While the inscription on the gate bears the date 1850, the building itself was apparently built a few decades earlier.

The building was associated in several writings with Dhahir al-Umar (1745-1775), but other textual sources suggest that the building was built as al-Jazzar's residence shortly after his arrival to Acre in 1775 and served lesser-rank government functionaries after al-Jazzar built a new Saray (Governor's palace) in better-protected location. After the Egyptian conquest of Acre in the 1830's the Old Saray served as the house of treasury, however, after Turkish rule was reestablished in Acre, the Old Saray regained its original function as a governor's palace. The building's function was subsequently converted several times from a post-office to a girls' school during the British Mandate and to a Muslim elementary school.


Dichter, Bernhard. 2000. Akko-Sites from the Turkish Period. Haifa: University of Haifa, 216-219.

Petersen, Andrew. 2001. A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Part 1.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 84.
Northern part of Old Acre, west of al-Jazzar Mosque, Acre, Israel
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Associated Names
2nd half of 18th century
Style Periods
Variant Names
Madrasa of Dhair al-Umar
Building Usages