Turkish Bath Garden, Old City of Akko...
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Panoramic photo by Zoran Strajin EXPERT Taken 11:39, 20/09/2011 - Views loading...


Turkish Bath Garden, Old City of Akko (Acre), Israel

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Down at the end of Al-Jezzar Street, just around the corner, is the Municipal Museum, originally the hammam, or Turkish bath, built by Ahmed al Jezzar Pasha as part of his mosque complex in the 1780s. The museum's collections, including antiquities, an exhibit on Napoleon's attack, the Museum of Heroism, and a folklore exhibit are often closed as the building undergoes repairs, but the building itself is fantastic. Visiting art exhibitions are also displayed here.

Turkish baths were modeled after the Roman plan, with three distinct rooms. The first was the entry and dressing room, the next was the tepidarium (its Roman name), with warm steam, and the last was the caldarium, with hot steam. The hot room was always the most ornate.

As you walk through the first two rooms, note the tiny glass skylights in the domes. The third room, the one for hot steam, is rich in marble and mosaic work. In the center is a circular platform for steam bathing. The heat source was beneath it. Some Turkish baths have a small swimming pool here instead. Four private steam cubicles occupy the four points of the compass.

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This panorama was taken in Israel, Middle East

This is an overview of Middle East

Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.

The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.

Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!

When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.

Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.

Text by Steve Smith.

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