A team from National Geographic led by Dr Albert Lin has uncovered a series of tunnels under the modern Israeli city of Akko – known as Acre 800 years ago – that were built by the Knights Templar.
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The team also established the location of a watch tower and using 3D reconstruction have begun to piece together what the mighty fortress of Acre looked like under Templar control.
I visited Acre a few years ago and got to see one of the tunnels but National Geographic has uncovered a warren of Templar tunnels stretching out under today’s streets. And they believe that these secret passages were used to transport Templar gold into the so-called “Treasure Tower”, keeping it safe from the knights’ enemies.
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Dr Albert Lin has led the team and is presenting a new action packaged documentary on National Geographic. He’s an interesting fellow. The Nat Geo website calls him “part-man, part machine” as he has a hi-tech prosthetic leg. At one point visiting a huge Templar church underground he talks about putting a “bionic” foot down on the medieval ruins.
Credit to him for being a positive role model and he’s certainly great fun to watch on TV. Here he is finding that Templar church below ground level.
Lost Cities broadcasts on National Geographic on Sundays.