Sarona German Colony, Tel Aviv-Yafo
The German Templar sect established several agricultural colonies in Palestine in the 19th century. Sarona was built in 1871, a few kilometers north east of Jaffa. Today this area lies in the center of Tel Aviv. Before and during WW II many in the templar community became staunch Nazi supporters, and in 1948 were finally expelled by the British Mandate authorities.
After WW II Sarona became a government center and police headquarters for the British Mandate in Tel-Aviv, and when the State of Israel was established in May 1948 these buildings and streets became the "Kirya", seat of many government offices and Israeli army headquarters.
In the last few years the Kirya is being gradually transormed again to "Sarona Park", as part of a much acclaimed urban development and conservation program: Government offices moved out, the old buildings are being meticulously re-converted to their original looks, and a recreational park has been created with lawns (and in the future also restaurants and specialty shops). This is a huge success of conservation activists and "green" organizations in Tel-Aviv. As part of this project, a few of the brick houses were moved along rails a few meters away from their original locations.
Today you can take a guided tour in this area, get away from modern city life for a while, imagine yourself in a 19th century agricultural colony, admire the different style and architecture, and listen to the interesting story behind each house.
Sarona was a section of Tel-Aviv that was originally a neighbourhood or "colony" for German Immigrants to Israel...as it became older the people moved or died and it was neglected as many neighbourhoods you see in cities around the world....Today Tel-Aviv decided to make this a historical park, removing some of the more seriously damaged buildings and working to restore others, like the "Yekev" (winery). The rest of the area is gradually being turned into a grass parkland for picnics and such and all this in the middle of the largest city of Israel.
Nothing special was happening in a small town in Maine before missioner George Jones Adams arrived there. Adam’s believed that he knows the way to help Jews to return to their land, as well as Messiah himself. Additionally, Adams had a land purchase deal with the local authorities, so his followers had many reasons to leave their life in Jonesport and head to the port of Jaffa.
In 1866, once arrived in Jaffa, they realized that this is not what they expected to be. The land deal didn’t work out, so Adams’ and his devotees had to settle on the beach, by the Jaffa port. Few weeks later about 10 of these people died, not knowing that the place they have settled in is adjacent to the cemetery where victims of previous year’s cholera epidemic are buried.
However, the land was purchased and people could finally put together their wooden houses, which they brought with them.
Unfortunately, Adams’ dream didn’t work out and although the community survived for a year or two, almost all of them returned back to Maine, including Adams himself. The only man who stayed was Rula Floyd, using a stagecoach which he transported with him from Jonesport, he opened the first successful travel business in Tel Aviv driving tourists to Jerusalem.
Later the neighborhood had been taken over by German Templars that contributed to the area significantly. But that was long time ago. Sadly, what we see today are only few wooden houses in a very bad condition and the only preserved building, which is Emmanuel Church.
Nevertheless, this is part of Tel Avis’s history and a trip there is very short if you’re visiting the Old Jaffa.