The sea wall at `Akká, near the Most Great Prison
The following are the major sites of `Akká (Acre):
The Barracks
Bahá'u'lláh and his companions, the Bahá'í exiles, arrived in `Akká in the late afternoon of 31 August 1868. Shortly after arrival in the barracks, several Bahá'ís died and most fell sick due to the conditions in the prison. The isolation and pressures of imprisonment were compounded by mistreatment, by deliberate deprivations of food, and by an absence of hygiene. Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned in the barracks for two years, two months, and five days.

The barracks was set upon the massive foundations of the great chapter fortress of the Crusader Knights of the Hospital and was built upon earlier buildings. The structure stood on the edge of the former inner moat and since garrison needs were limited, it could be used as a prison. It was known to some as `the Turkish Bastille'.

The Three Houses
Bahá'u'lláh was finally removed from the prison in 1870 to three successive houses within `Akká because the Turkish army required the barracks for its reorganization. Bahá'u'lláh was moved to the house of Malík, the house of Khavvám and the house of Rabí`ih. The length of his stay in these three houses was approximately ten months.

The House of `Abbúd

The House of `Abbúd

What is known as the House of `Abbúd is actually in two parts: the eastern part and the western part. The eastern part was known as the house of `Údí Khammár and western part as the house of `Abbúd.

Bahá'u'lláh was moved to the house of `Údí Khammár in 1871. It was so inadequate for the needs of the Bahá'ís that no less than thirteen persons of both sexes had to accommodate themselves in one of its rooms. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh's Book of Laws and his most important work, was revealed in this house. `Abdu'l-Bahá got married in this house in 1872. Bahá'u'lláh lived in these two houses for a total of seven years.

At the time of the transfer of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bahá'ís from the barracks to make room for the Turkish troops, most of Bahá'u'lláh's companions were consigned to a caravansarai named the Khán-i-`Avámíd (Inn of the Pillars). The means of comfort were so limited, and food was so scarce that each loaf of Arab bread, normally adequate for one meal for one person, had to be divided into four portions, for the four periods of the day! All other food was also strictly divided and assigned.

As the companions of Bahá'u'lláh took up residence in other houses, the Khán-i-`Avámíd became the first Bahá'í Pilgrim House of the Holy Land. Many eminent early Bahá'í believers stayed in and lived in this caravansarai.

The House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá

The House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá
In 1896, four years after the death of Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá rented the house of `Abdu'lláh Páshá. The house of `Abbúd had become too small for the large family of Bahá'u'lláh. It was here that in March 1897, in an upper room of the south wing, the first child was born which was related both to Bahá'u'lláh and to his forerunner the Báb: Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. Shoghi Effendi's mother was the eldest daughter of `Abdu'l-Bahá and his father was one of the relatives of the Báb. This house is also the site of the meeting between `Abdu'l-Bahá and the first pilgrim group from the West in the winter of 1898-9.

The Gates

The Land Gate of `Akká
The sea gate is the passage used by the Bahá'í exiles to enter the city. The land gate of `Akká witnessed passages of Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi during their lifetimes.

The Cemeteries
North of the land gate is a small Muslim cemetery named after Nabí Sálih. Fourteen Bahá'ís were buried there, including one of the sons of Bahá'u'lláh who died in the barracks. The remains of Bahá'u'lláh's son were transferred to Mount Carmel in 1939.

East of the city, now within the area occupied by the Israel School for Naval Officers, lies an extensive Muslim cemetery which became after 1880 the burial place for the dead of the Bahá'í community. Several members of Bahá'u'lláh's family were buried here. Until the transfer of her remains to Mount Carmel, `Abdu'l-Bahá's mother was buried here.

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