Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    The views of Tel Aviv from Old Jaffa

    by marielexoteria Updated May 24, 2010

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    Tel Aviv's skyline and beaches

    This is one of the things I like doing when visiting a new city: finding a place where I can take panoramic pictures and I got intrigued about Tel Aviv when I was flying over it as my plane started the descent to Ben Gurion airport.

    From Old Jaffa you can take some beautiful pictures of the Tel Aviv beaches, with the skyline formed by the big buildings one the one side. To me this is one of life's free pleasures.

    I took the picture of this tip from Mifraz Shelomo Promenade, near Aladdin Restaurant and the Maritime Mosque.

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    just wander around

    by piglet44 Updated May 21, 2010

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    this is us listening to the live music at mazal ar
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    The Old Harbour area and the whole of Old Yafo is being gentrified. The Old Harbour area is having a new boardwalk put in ,a bit like the one up in the Tel Aviv port area. When it's finished I think it will be really cool .At the moment there is a large hangar with exhibitions of handiwork made by disabled people which is nice. Also there are a couple of nice fish restaurants. Then walk up the stairs and that brings you onto the alleyways that make up Old Yafo .There is a nice church there and the Gesher Theatre and the Arab-Jewish theatre. Just stroll around and look at the view, and then get lost in the maze of little alleyways. Its nice. There is a lovely place called Mazal Arie 5 where we heard a concert (see my previous tip) .It is a kind of coffee bar pub, with a view of the sea, and if you are lucky there might be live music there.

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    St. Peter's Church

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 9, 2010

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    St. Peter's Church
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    St. Peter's Church is a Franciscan Church in Jaffa.
    The church was built in 1654 in dedication to Saint Peter over a medieval citadel that was erected by Frederick II and restored by Louis IX of France at the beginning of the second half of the thirteenth century. However, in the late eighteenth century the church was twice destroyed and consequently twice rebuilt. The current structure was built between 1888 and 1894 and most recently renovated in 1903.
    With its tall brick facade and towering belfry, St. Peter's Church is the single largest and most distinctive building in Old Jaffa.

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    Jaffa Historical Site

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 9, 2010

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    Jaffa Historical Site
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    On March 7, 1799 Napoleon I of France captured Jaffa, ransacked it, and killed scores of local inhabitants. St. Peter's Church also contains thirteenth century remnants of St. Louis' citadel located outside and to the right of the sacristy.
    The remnants include two whole rooms that Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have lived while he was at St. Peter's in 1799 during his campaign in Egypt and Syria.

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    Jaffa Clock Tower

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 9, 2010

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    Jaffa Clock Tower

    The Jaffa Clock Tower stands in the middle of Yefet Street at the northern entrance of Jaffa.
    The tower was built to commemorate the silver jubilee of the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abd al-Hamid II in 1906. The tower was built with contributions of the residents of the city, Arabs and Jews.
    The tower incorporates two clocks and a plaque commemorating the Israelis killed in the battle for the town in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

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    Visit St Peters Church

    by WStat Written May 15, 2008

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    Old Jaffa: St Peters

    St. Peter’s was built in 1654 over a medieval fortress. In the late eighteenth century it was twice destroyed, and the present building was completed in 1894. A room at the church reportedly hosted Napoleon Bonaparte when he came to the city in 1799.
    The church is overlooking the old fishing port,its interior, with vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, marble-covered walls and a huge painting over the altar of Peter's visitation by an angel, reminds of churches in Italy.

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    Visit the "Wishing Bridge"

    by WStat Updated May 15, 2008

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    Libra on the Wishing Bridge

    If you walk about 45 minutes from Tel Aviv along the beach, you'll reach old Jaffa (Yafo), an old Palestinian-Israeli city.
    Walk up the hill to the church; there is a wonderful square with old houses, opposite the park, where also some Egyptian excavations can be seen, dating from the time, when the Egyptians settled there.Across the park you will find a bridge, crossing the street. There are all zodiac-signs fixed on the bridge. Just find yours, touch it, look over the sea, and make a wish. It should come true, as the story says.

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    Old Jaffa - A must see !

    by 1W1V Written Mar 3, 2008

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    Jaffa Port from TA Beach/Promenade
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    Jaffa (or Yafo) is one of the most ancient port cities in the world. Some claim that Jaffa was named after Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah, who built it forty years after the Great Flood. A Hebrew etymology indicates that the city is called Jaffa because of its beauty (yofi in Hebrew). The Hellenist tradition links the name to "Iopeia", which is Cassiopeia, the mother of Andromeda. Following Pliny the Elder the name is connected with Jopa, who was the daughter of Aeolus, the god of wind. However, the Hellenist and Roman accountings for the name date from hundreds of years after the original (most probably west-semitic) naming.[citation needed]

    [edit] Ancient period
    The ancient site of Jaffa is Tel Yafo, or "Jaffa Hill," which rises to a height of 40 meters (130 feet) and offers a commanding view of the coastline. Hence its strategic importance in military history. At the foot of the hill were springs of fresh water. The accumulation of debris and landfill over the centuries made the hill even higher.

    Jaffa's natural harbor has been in use since the Bronze Age. It is mentioned in an Ancient Egyptian letter from 1470 BCE, glorifying its conquest by Pharaoh Thutmose III, who hid armed warriors in large baskets and gave the baskets as a present to the Canaanite city's governor. The city is also mentioned in the Amarna letters under its Egyptian name Ya-Pho, ( Ya-Pu, EA 296, l.33). In 1991, a replica of the Egyptian gate lintels, bearing the titles of Pharaoh Ramesses II, was re-erected on its original site. The city was under Egyptian rule until around 800 BCE.

    Jaffa is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as the territorial border of the Tribe of Dan, hence the term "Gush Dan", used today for the coastal plain. Many descendants of Dan lived along the coast and earned their living from shipmaking and sailing. In the "Song of Deborah" the prophetess asks: "ãï ìîä éâåø àåðéåú": "Why doth Dan dwell in ships?"[citation needed][2]


    Interior of St. Peter's Church and the Vision of St. PeterKing David and his son King Solomon conquered Jaffa and used its port to bring the cedars used in the construction of the First Temple from Tyre. The city remained in Jewish hands even after the split of the Kingdom of Israel. In 701 BCE, in the days of King Hezekiah (çæ÷éäå), Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded the region from Jaffa.

    Jaffa was a Seleucid port until it was taken over by the Maccabean rebels (1 Maccabees x.76, xiv.5). In the Roman suppression of the Jewish Revolt, Jaffa was captured and burned by Cestius Gallus. The Roman Jewish historian Josephus writes that eight thousand inhabitants were massacred. Pirates operating from the rebuilt port incurred the wrath of Vespasian, who razed the city and erected a citadel in its place, installing a Roman garrison there.

    The New Testament account of St. Peter's resurrection of the widow Tabitha, (Dorcas) (Acts, ix, 36-42) takes place in Jaffa. St. Peter later had a vision in which God told him not to distinguish between Jews and Gentiles or between kosher and non-kosher (Acts, x, 10-16). This vision heralded a major ideological split between Judaism and Christianity. A painting in St. Peter's, a Roman Catholic church in Jaffa, depicts this event.

    [edit] Medieval period

    Saladin's attack on JaffaUnimportant during the first centuries of Christianity, Jaffa did not have a bishop until the fifth century CE. In 636 Jaffa was conquered by Arabs. Under Islamic rule, it served as a port of Ramla, then the provincial capital.

    Jaffa was captured during the Crusades, and became the County of Jaffa and Ascalon, one of the vassals of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. One of its counts, John of Ibelin, wrote the principal book of the Assizes of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. During the period of the Crusades, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela (1170) sojourned at Jaffa, and found there just one Jew, a dyer by trade. Saladin took it in 1187. The city surrendered to King Richard the Lionheart on September 10, 1191, three days after the Battle of Arsuf. Despite efforts by Saladin to reoccupy the city in July 1192 (see Battle of Jaffa) the city remained in the hands of the Crusaders, and on 2nd September 1192 the Treaty of Jaffa was formally sworn, guaranteeing a three year truce between the two armies. In 1268 Jaffa was conquered by Egyptian mamluks, led by Baibars. In 14th century they completely destroyed the city for fear of new crusades. According to the traveler Cotwyk, Jaffa was a heap of ruins at the end of the 16th century.

    [edit] The Ottoman period
    On March 7, 1799 Napoleon I of France captured Jaffa and his troops proceeded to kill more than two thousand Albanian captives.

    Jaffa was well known for its cash crops such as citrus and bananas. Until the establishment of Tel Aviv and the era of the Mandate for Palestine, Jaffa had the most advanced commercial, banking, fishing, and agriculture industries in Palestine. It had many factories specializing in cigarette making, cement making, tile and roof tile production, iron casting, cotton processing plants, traditional handmade carpets, leather products, wood boxes for Jaffa oranges, textiles, presses and publications. The majority of all publications and newspapers in Palestine were published in Jaffa.

    By the beginning of the twentieth century, the population of Jaffa had swelled considerably and new suburbs were built on the sand dunes along the coast. By 1909, the new Jewish suburbs north of Jaffa were reorganized as the city of Tel Aviv.

    Image:Kook color.jpg
    Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was chief rabbi of Jaffa from 1904-1921.In 1904 Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1864-1935) moved to Palestine and took up the position of chief rabbi of Jaffa:

    In 1904, he came to the Land of Israel to assume the rabbinical post in Jaffa, which also included responsibility for the new secular Zionist agricultural settlements nearby. His influence on people in different walks of life was already noticeable, as he attempted to introduce Torah and Halakha into the life of the city and the settlements.[3]
    In 1917, the Ottomans banished all of Jaffa's residents as they feared the British army would occupy the city. The British did indeed occupy the city (see Sinai and Palestine Campaign), but let its residents return after a year.

    [edit] Under the British mandate

    British Commonwealth soldiers stand outside the Jaffa municipal building.During 1917-1920, there were thousands of Jewish residents in Jaffa. A wave of Arab pogrom attacks during 1920 and 1921 caused many Jewish residents to flee and resettle in Tel Aviv. The 1921 riots (known as the Meoraot Tarpa by the Jews) began with a May Day parade that turned violent. The Arab rioters attacked Jewish people and buildings, including the residents of "The House of Immigrants" and the Jewish author Yosef Haim Brenner.

    In 1921 Rabbi Kook moved to Jerusalem when he was appointed as the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine and is still regarded as Israel's first chief rabbi as well.

    At the end of 1922 Jaffa had 32,000 residents while Tel Aviv had 15,000. However, in 1927, Tel Aviv had 38,000 residents. The Jews of Jaffa lived on the outskirts of Jaffa, close to Tel Aviv. The old city of Jaffa, which was controlled by the Arabs, was almost empty of Jews. During the 1930s both cities had a combined population of 80,000 residents. By 1945, Arabs owned 146,316 dunams (146 km²) of citrus, and Jews owned 66,403 dunams (66 km²).[citation needed]

    The 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, also known as the Great Arab uprising, inflicted great economic and infrastructural damage on Jaffa. Urban warfare between the British forces and Arab resistance destroyed many of the city's narrow alleys. The British demolished many houses belonging to Arab resistance. Jewish and British citizens moved their businesses out of Jaffa. As a reaction to the strike of the Arab seaport workers, the Jews built a modern seaport in Tel Aviv, which resulted in decreased income for Jaffa's Arab seaport.

    In 1945 Jaffa had a population of 101,580; of whome 53,930 were Muslims, 30,820 were Jews and 16,800 were Christians.[4] The Christians were mostly Greek-Orthodox with about one sixth of them being Greek-Catholic. One of the most prominent members of the Arab Christian community was the Arab Orthodox publisher of Filastin, Daoud Isa.

    [edit] The 1948 Arab-Israeli War
    Prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the UN's Special Commission on Palestine in 1947 recommended that Jaffa become part of the planned Jewish state. Due to the large Arab majority, however, it was instead designated as an Arab enclave in the Jewish state in the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

    (c) Wikipedia

    Today, the renovated streets of Jaffa offer a nice walk with some interesting surprise as these streets are the house of local artists.

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    The cemeteries of Jaffa

    by ophiro Written Jan 18, 2008

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    a statue
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    Beside the famous Trumpeldor St. cemetry you will find a beautiful cemetery in Jaffa.

    In the end of Yeffet street , very close to Bat Yam there are Latin cemetery , Armenian cemetery and a Muslim one , all of them close to each other.

    Most of the time they are closed and it is not very easy to walk there but the view is amazing , the tombstones are bery close to the water , very quiet.

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  • Old jaffa: peaceful, relaxing and awesome

    by frenchlondon Written Dec 20, 2007

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    This is by far by favorite area in Tel aiv. If you need to quiet place to chill out a bit after hectic Downtown Tel aviv, Jaffa is the place. The views from the town is amazing. You can see Tel Aviv almost entirely. Cool cafe. The old port is fascinating, you feel like back in time. Only thing is they seem to restore the old city to cater for tourist. Some building look 'fake' old, mainly on the main square. The modern jaffa is interesting, with a great street market.

    This a place where , christians, muslims and jewish all seem to be in peace.

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    Ancient settlement, rich in history

    by WorldMeet2008 Written Aug 10, 2007

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    Tel Aviv from the Hill of Old Jaffa

    From Wikipedia:

    The ancient site of Jaffa is Tel Yafo, or "Jaffa Hill," which rises to a height of 40 meters (130 feet) and offers a commanding view of the coastline. Hence its strategic importance in military history. At the foot of the hill were springs of fresh water.

    Jaffa's natural harbor has been in use since the Bronze Age. It is mentioned in an Ancient Egyptian letter from 1470 BCE, glorifying its conquest by Pharaoh Thutmose III. The city is also mentioned in the Amarna letters under its Egyptian name Ya-Pho, ( Ya-Pu, EA 296, l.33).

    Jaffa is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as the territorial border of the Tribe of Dan, hence the term "Gush Dan", used today for the coastal plain.

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    Hassan Beck Mosque

    by ophiro Written Jun 8, 2007

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    Hassan Beck mosque is located on the border between jaffa and tel aviv , near David intercontinental hotel.
    The mosque was built in 1914.

    The contrast between the old mosque and the new luxurios hotel is surprising

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    Jaffa, the Beauty

    by tzuki Written Jun 2, 2007

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    Path to Old Jaffa District. Photo by GUrech
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    Site away of the busy Tel-Aviv... you can find the calm in the Milenary Jaffa ("the beauty").
    The port is where, according to the legend, Jonas left to be "face-to-face" with the whale... However nowadays, the district of Jaffa has emerged thanks to an artistic influence where crasftsmen and bohemian live together along with nice restaurants and art galleries.
    If you have any oportunity to land in Tel-Aviv, you should not miss a walk along narrow streets of this beautiful district, you deserve!
    For me, was very special, very enchanting.

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    Clock Tower

    by Nathalie_B Updated Apr 21, 2007

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    Not only tourists, but even Israelis often pass by this tower without paying it too much attention. And even if they do, not many know its fascinating history. However, Israelis are the last ones to take credit for creating this structure.
    The building of the clock tower started in 1900, when the land was under Turkish rule. It was created to commemorate 25 years of Sultan's Abdul Hamid II rule. For some reason, it took 6 years to complete the structure.
    Back in 17th century the place was the biggest Muslim cemetary and only at the end of 19th century it was turned into a market. Because it was the biggest market of Jaffa the place was named Market Square.
    During the WWI it was taken over under the British Mandate after a battle that was won by Australia-New Zealand Corps, on Ncvember 16, 1917.
    Since then many things have changed in old Jaffa. The market it no longer there (the flea market is just around the corner), many Arabs left the area back in 1948, and so the British, giving this land to Israelis. But the Clock Tower is still there.
    The tower and the square were completely renovated in 2004, so we can continue to appreciate its multi-national history.

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    Jaffa Underground Museum

    by Martin_S. Written Dec 23, 2006

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    View from Jaffa to Tel-Aviv, Israel
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    The first picture shows how close the modern city of Tel-Aviv (established in 1911) is, you can walk along the coastline for a few minutes and arrive in the Charles Clore Park along the shore.
    The second picture shows a "garbage collector", one of the poor of Israel who do not have means to support themselves for whatever reason. This person was collecting bottles and cans to return for the deposit.
    The third picture shows the "stories in stone" that are carved stone markers along the walls of ancient Yafo and each tells a historical story of the area.

    The last picture shows what is UNDER you while walking the center of Jaffo (Yafo in Hebrew). You will pass OVER a museum...if you look carefully you will see a slanted walkway leading down, take that for a short stroll into the far past of this ancient city of Yafo.

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