A project within the framework of "Saving the Stones: Practical Conservation Training Internship".
The International Conservation Center - Città di Roma, Old Acre

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Built into the exterior wall of the Al-Jazzar Mosque complex, the ornate Ottoman Rococo sabil (public fountain) is viewed by nearly every visitor to the Old City of Akko.  A unique structure, it is unlike any other located in Israel.  After observation of visitors and locals alike, it appears however, that very few recognize its distinct intricacies and beauty that have remained relatively well preserved in throughout its two century lifetime. Upon request of the Mosque authority, the following architectural documentation has been undertaken as a step towards the contribution to the sabils conservation. 
The documentation process was approached through an extensive historic and current photographic survey in conjunction with the compilation of architectural drawings and the development of a 3-dimensional computer model of the structure. 
Part of the larger mosque complex built by the ruler Al-Jazzar Pasha in 1781-1782 C.E. The mosque itself is built on a raised platform above a large Crusader period barrel vaulted cistern used to distribute water to the residents of the Ottoman city.    According to Islamic belief, water is considered a gift from god, and mankind is the steward for ensuring God’s gifts be distributed to the people.  “And Allah sends down rain from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth”. (Holy Qur’an 16:65).  As a gesture to Allah, sabils were established to quench thirsty travelers, pilgrims, and local residents, in an expression of hospitality. 
This report strives to provide the reader with a clearer, more in depth architectural view of the structure.  While the old city of Akko is currently undergoing immense changes and improvements, certain objects can fall behind due to ownership rights or other surrounding issues. 
With its significance established, and preliminary architectural documentation complete, it is recommended that further evaluation and conservation report of the structure be undertaken by a conservator to assess the possibilities of reuse as a visual attraction.

Alison Hortig
January 2010