German Colony is a nice district located in front of the lower side of Baha’I Gardens at the foot of Mount Carmel. It was established in 1868 by the German Templers, a protestant sect that tried to realize the apocalyptic visions of the prophets of Israel in the Holy Land! (they also established colonies in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Sarona and Gallilea).
They were expelled from the church in 1858 (because of their millennial beliefs) and settled in Palestine waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ! Apart from these ideas (that never come true) they brought modernity in every city they lived (in reality they purchased land that was far from the town at that time) with large urban planning, organized transport networks etc. Back then (late 19th –early 20th century) the German Colony was the only one that had a main street running from the harbor to the north (you can still see it today, it’s the Ben-Gurion boulevard) with several streets off the main street and several gardens, trees and the vineyards at the southern end.
It was nice to walk around the German Colony (most visitors will focus on Ben Gurion promenade), we saw some of those old Templer houses, many of them are fully restored and turned into museums, hotels, restaurants, the general atmosphere feels like a chic district of a central European area). Earlier that day we visited the Tourist Information (at Ben Gurion again) where the helpful lady explained some things and suggested a walk around the district providing us with a brochure in English that you can see a route along the interesting buildings. One of those templer buildings (at Ben Gurion 11) now houses the Haifa City History Museum (entrance fee 20nis, open sat to wed 10-16.00, thu 16-19.00, fri 10-13.00).
But the truth is that we spent most of our time drinking coffee at one of the numerous café along the boulevard :) In the evening was also nice there because you can see the litted Baha’i Gardens and its Shrine in full glory (pics 4-5)
Before starting your tour through the German Colony I recommend to visit the Haifa Tourist Board and ask for a broshure about the quarter. It is available in English, explains the background of the Colony and contains a small map (drawing) of the interesting houses.
During my visit to Haifa I happend to pass by the Haifa City Museum which is located in the Templar Community House. Inside I had a look at an exhibition about the past of Haifa especially at the time of the British Mandat. It was very interesting, despite the fact that of course much was in hebrew, which I do not understand. But the many photos and other exhibits do not require this. Have a look at the museum!
Taking photos was not allowed here, but have a look at the link below, which will take you to the webpage of the museum.
If you walk around the German Colony in Haifa you will notice several verses written on the houses over the doors. Many are religious sayings in old German language, which partly differs in spelling to the modern German. So don't be confused if you are only a little familiar with German and you see e.g. 'tun' as 'thun'.
This beautiful (!!) area includes old houses that survived from the time German Templars settled in Haifa (around 1868), many of these houses are located on Ben Gurion Avenue (where you can look above and see the Bahai Shrine on the hill). this beautiful houses and courtyards shows well of the Templars lifestyle.
This days you can walk around, enjoy a real lovely restautants and Cafe's. I really enjoyed there in my last visit and discovered some nice hidden places.
The picturesque neighborhood is located at the foot of the Bahai gardens and presents the lifestyle of the Greman Templars that settled in Haifa at the 19th century.
The old, well kept streets are offers some good restaurants and historical sights that gives the area a real European atmosphre.
That kind of area are rare in Israel, another neighborhood of this kind can be found in Zichron Yaakov.
The reconstructed German Colony neighborhood of Haifa is lovely to walk around on a sunny day. It has lots of cafes and restaurants and the view of the Bahai garden terraces from the bottom right the way up is really magnificent.
The tourist office is located in the heart of the neighborhood and I understand they have tours where the guides are dressed in period costumes though we didn't see it....
This neighborhood with the distinctive red roofed houses was built by the members of the Templar Society in1868.
Today, this area is undergoing renovations. Signs have been placed in front of various buildings,which enable anyone interested in learning more about the beginnings of the colony an opportunity to take a self guided tour of the area.
A wonderful chance to look up the mountain and see a unique view of the new Bahai terraced Gardens. Awesome view is, on sunset time, when all terraces' area lights are alight.
The area was built during the 19th century by Temolers who came to israel and built their setelment here. The houses with the special architecture still stand. Some of them were renovated and there are many restaurants, pubs or coffee houses. Nice atmosphere in the evening, especialy in the weekend
Have a look at signs set up along the Ben Gurion Boulevard. They explain to you about the history of the German Colony. They are numbered and start at the harbour