While modern Akre was founded by the Ottoman Empire (1877), the most commonly held view dates its origin to around 700 BC. The Kurdish Prince Zeid who named it after the Zoroastrians designation “Iakr” – meaning fire, founded it. Many maintain Akre is much older and legends abound that “Iakry” rose from ancient seas that once covered the region. Keeping in mind that Kurdistan is the “land between the rivers” and the “cradle of civilization” this may be more than myth. While religious roots trace to the Zoroastrians, the city has also had a significant Jewish populationand still has many Christians. There are over 700 archeological sites in the area including ancient caves, Zoroastrian Temples and old Christian Churches.
WHAT TO DO IN AKRE
Major shrines: Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Kilani, Sheikh Ismail Aluliani, Sheikh Ahmed, Sheikh, Mohammed, Sheikh BadiSurja, Sheikhs Kula Ka, and Sheikh Abdul Qader al-Kilani. Hiking and River Rafting: The area around Akre embodies some of Kurdistan’s most scenic valleys and mountains where one can enjoy exotic flora and indigenous animals. Zarvia Dji Mountain boasts ruin of an ancient Jewish site. It is important that an experienced guide be employed to explore the region by foot. Key Archeological Sites: Ancient Akre Citadel, Palace and Ottoman Houses (under renovation), Zarvia Dji (ancient Jewish).