Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo

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    view from the Summit park
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    cannon from Napoleon era
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    Old Jaffa

    by traveloturc Updated Feb 2, 2014

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    Jaffa

    Jaffa is claimed to be the oldest port in the world and was founded by Japhet, the son of biblical Noah. Early Egytian records show that it was conquered by Thutmose III in 1468 BCE. Similarly, archeological excavations in in old Jaffa have uncovered the the name of Ramses II, and was then in control of the Philistines. The Dan tribe settled briefly in Jaffa shortly after the Israelite conquest of Canaan. Later, conquered by King David, cedar trees from Jaffa were used in the building of King Solomon's original Temple in Jerusalem around 950 BCE. Archeological discoveries have shown remains from a Canaanite city, a Jewish city built at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, a third century BCE wall, a statue of Aphrodite, Hasmonean ruins, and traces of Roman occupation. Following the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE, Jaffa came under the control of the Phoenecians and then the Greeks. It was these Hellenistic residents of the city who loaded the small Jewish community in boats and sank them during the Maccabean revolt in 165 BCE.
    The Crusaders also came through Jaffa. Richard the Lion-Hearted built a citadel that was promptly taken away by Saladin's brother.The city regained its importance as a port in the nineteenth century. In the maze of streets the Armenian convent that served as a hospital for Napoleon's troops is still present. Napoleon stopped in Jaffa on his campaign through the country and, according to some sources, ordered 4,000 wounded soldiers to facilitate his withdrawal from the area...
    In 1909, a group of Jews from Jaffa ,decided that they wanted to leave the narrow crowded streets of the town. They bought a stretch of sand dunes north of Jaffa and called it Ahuzat bayit, which became Tel Aviv. Soon Jaffa became a small village in comparison to the rapidly developing Tel Aviv area, which received city status in 1934. In 1950, Jaffa and Tel Aviv were officially combined into one city....

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    Gan ha-Midron and Summit parks on the hill

    by mindcrime Written Jan 29, 2014

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    If the temperature isn’t really high you may want to climb up to Gan ha-Midron and Summit parks, both of them located at the top of the Old Town of Jaffa. There are many nice spots where you can have nice view over the sea and Tel Aviv’s skyline near its long beach with the high rise buildings etc

    There are several benches where you can rest for a while but also some interesting sculptures, monuments, cannons from Napoleon era etc The most interesting is the the white sculpture The Gate of Faith (pic 2) that shows biblical scenes from the Old Testament, a nice spot to take picture if you can wait for the rest of the tourists that usually want to do the same :)

    Part of summit park is shaped like an amphitheater, it’s a place that houses many oper air concerts during the summer months, a great free to do activity if you happen to be there in summer.

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    Oranger Suspendu

    by mindcrime Written Jan 29, 2014

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    Walking around the Old Town of Jaffa a journey through time, the old stone houses and the maze of the narrow passages with several arches worth it for sure even if you have to walk up the steep hill. The alleys near the port are more busy of course but as you go higher you’ll probably be alone with isolated picturesque corners, what a contrast with the busy/noisy streets of Tel Aviv earlier that day in the morning.

    But one of the best/weird moments when we reached the edge of an alley that lead us to the strange structure you see here (pics 1-2). Built in 1993 by Ran Morin this is a weird artificial sculpture with stone and steel repressing a hanging orange tree! The sign on the wall gives some historical info about the Jaffa oranges (pic 3)

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    Jaffa Tales – Old Jaffa Visitor's Center

    by pieter_jan_v Written Nov 14, 2012
    Jaffa Tales - Old Jaffa

    The Jaffa tales presents over 5000 years of Jaffa history of this ancient harbour town.

    Opening hours:
    Ma-Th: 9AM - 8PM (5PM in Winter)
    Fr: 9AM - 5PM (3PM in Winter)
    Sa-Su: 9AM - 8PM (5PM in Winter)

    Entry is by advance invitation or on the basis of available space; reservation recommended.

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    St. Peter's Church in Old Jaffa

    by pieter_jan_v Written Nov 13, 2012
    St. Peter's Church - Old Jaffa
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    St. Peter's Church in Old Jaffa ia a Roman Catholic Church built in 1654.

    In the second half of the 18th century the church was twice destroyed and reconstructed again, the last time from 1888 till 1894; in 1903 the building was renovated.

    The church is open to the public daily: 8AM - 11:45AM and 3PM - 5PM.

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    Saraia House

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Nov 7, 2012
    The Saraia House - Old Jaffa
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    The Saraia House was part of the Ottaman government complex that was build just outside the old Jaffa city walls. The building was home to Turkish governor and construction was completed in 1897.
    In 1948 most of the complex was blown up.
    Later the Governor's residence and its facade were reconstructed.

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    The Old Jaffa Clock Tower

    by pieter_jan_v Written Nov 6, 2012

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    The Old Jaffa Clock Tower
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    The Jaffa clock tower was built with limestone during the Ottoman period; construction started in 1900 and it took 3 years to complete the building.

    In 1965 the Tower was renovated, new clocks were installed and colorful mosaic windows designed by Arie Koren were added.

    The Jaffa Clock Tower stands in the middle of Yefet street at the northern entrance of Jaffa.

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    The walk south from Tel Aviv to Jaffa

    by leffe3 Updated Jul 1, 2012

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    One of the major coastal icons of Tel Aviv is the rise of the Old City of Jaffa with the spire of St Peter's Church.

    The promenade from the northern beaches to the walls of Machmoudia Mosque runs along the shoreline and it is one of the must-do's of any time in Tel Aviv. Whatever the weather and whatever the time of the day, with the Mediterranean on one side, this is a superb walk.

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  • electric bike rental

    by jessy&chili Written Jan 26, 2012
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    wheel bee - rental of all kind of bicycle, i chooes the electric bike and rented it for a whole week. it was very fun and easy to ride the city frpm place to place. cheaper then public transportation.

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    The Jaffa Port

    by iblatt Updated Oct 15, 2011
    Jaffa port
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    The port was what made Jaffa important through the ages, and also brought upon the town many conquerors interested in gaining control of the strategic port (among them also Napoleon). The port was active from Canaanite times (2nd millennium BC) until the mid-20th-century. It is even mentioned in the Bible as the port where Jona the prophet boarded a ship.

    As it is not suitable for the docking of big, modern ships, it fell into disuse and neglect for a few decades in the late 20th century, but is now gradually developing into a recreational area, continuous with the artists' quarter in the lanes of Old Jaffa.

    Today there are restaurants, galeries and shops, the old hangars are finding new uses, and street festivals are also held in the Jaffa port.
    You can take boat tours of the harbor and the coast of Tel-Aviv and Jaffa.

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    St. Peter's Church

    by iblatt Written Oct 13, 2011
    St. Peter's church, Old Jaffa

    One of the landmarks on the hill of Old Jaffa is St. Peter's church. It can be seen from the sea as you approach Jaffa, and from the Tel-Aviv promenade, sitting at the edge of the Jaffa promontory. As Jaffa's old port was the entrance gate to the Land of Israel for pilgrims over the ages, St. Peter's church was the sight that welcomed them on their arrival. There used to be a hostel for pilgrims here in the 17th century.

    The church was built on the site believed by the Catholics to be the house of Simon the Tanner, where St. Peter stayed and had a famous dream which appears in the New Testament.

    The church has been built, destroyed and rebuilt several times during its long history: constructed in the Byzantine period, destroyed during the Arab conquest (7th century), rebuilt by Crusaders, destroyed by Mamluks (13th century), rebuilt by the Franciscans, destroyed again, finally rebuilt in the late 19th century in Spanish Baroque style.

    Today the church is in use by Catholic immigrant-workers from Poland and South America and by members of diplomatic delegations. It is also frequented by many Catholic tourists.

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    The Hill-Slope Park ("Gan ha-Midron")

    by iblatt Written Oct 13, 2011

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    View from top of Hill-Slope Park, Old Jaffa
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    If you don't mind a short steep climb, the Hill-Slope Park is the most impressive way of getting to the Old Jaffa hill.

    From the quay on the sea level ("Retzif Ha-Aliya Ha-Shniya") the path meanders up the hill. Climbing the many stairs look at the slender mosque minaret to your right, and at the beautiful view which spreads underneath you: the blue sea, the promenade, Tel-Aviv's hotels and its high-rise skyline. There are several benches along the way, and at night this is one of the most romantic spots in Tel Aviv.

    When you reach the top, on Mifratz-Shlomo Street, you can stop, take a breath and sit down on one of the benches to admire the view. You will find a few small cannons from Napoleon's time right there.

    From there you can either continue up the street to Kedumim Square, the center of Old Jaffa, or cross the street and continue up the hill (this is a much more moderate slope) into the Summit Park (see separate tip).

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    The Summit Park: Best View of Tel-Aviv

    by iblatt Updated Oct 13, 2011

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    View of Tel Aviv from Summit Park, Old Jaffa
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    The Summit Park was created on the top of the hill of Old Jaffa. It affords the best views of Tel-Aviv: the Mediterranean, the beaches, the promenade, the hotel and the business district with its high rise buildings are there at your feet.

    At the very top there is a white sculpture named "The Gate of Faith", depicting three Biblical scenes from the Old Testament: the sacrifice of Isaac, Jacob's dream and the conquest of Jericho. Tourists love to have their picture taken at this gate, with the view of Tel-Aviv and the sea in the background.

    The slope of the Summit Park hill was shaped as an ampitheater, and in the summer free open-air concerts are held here. The vegetation in the park was especially chosen to be resistant to the wind and the salt.

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    Kedumim Square

    by iblatt Written Oct 13, 2011
    Zodiac Fountain, Kedumim Square, Old Jaffa
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    In the center of the hill of Old Jaffa you will find a large open square. Underneath the surface are some archaeological excavations which yielded findings from the ancient Egyptian, Philistine and Hasmonean periods. A figure dressed like a Napoleonin soldier points the way to the Visitor Center in the square (Napoleon was one of Jaffa's many conquerors).

    In the Kedumim Square you will also notice a nice modern fountain, representing the zodiac signs. From there a maze of narrow lanes lead to Jaffa's art galleries and finally to the port.

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    Lanes of Old Jaffa

    by iblatt Written Oct 13, 2011

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    Lane in Old Jaffa
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    This is a far cry from the buzz of modern Tel-Aviv: Taking a walk in the lanes of Old Jaffa is a journey back in time to the Ottoman period (pre World War I): The narrow passages with stone houses, arches and steps, lots of steps taking you up and down the steep hill of Old Jaffa. The pace of life here is in stark contrast to the fast pace of Tel Aviv: No cars, lazy, quiet (except for the groups of tourists you meet here and there), cats dozing in the sun...

    The character of these lanes has certainly changed since Ottoman times: you will not see donkey-drawn carts and porters carrying goods up from the port, these have long disappeared, and if you want to see them you can look at Nachum Gutman's paintings in thr museum dedicated to him in the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.

    Today the lanes are lined with art galleries and tourist shops, but have retained a unique atmosphere and character. They are named after the twelve signs of the zodiac: Look for yours!

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