Jaffa (Yaffo) - The Ancient Jewel of Tel-Aviv
By: Roye Salomon
Ancient Jaffa is Alive and KickingJaffa - an ancient and beautiful city is located in the south of Tel-Aviv. Jaffa claims over 4000 years of history, but is still live and kicking. This is the place where the prophet Jonas was swallowed by the whale, and the Rock of Andromeda can be seen jutting from the water.
|Old Jaffa is by far one of the most romantic places in the Tel-Aviv area. The old winding stone alleys, overlooking the blue sea mix together both middle eastern and European ambiance. Restaurants, shops and cafes hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Tel-Aviv, can be found here in abundance.|
The best way to enter Jaffa is undoubtedly by walking down the beach promenade from Tel-Aviv southward. The promenade offers lovely views of Tel-Aviv beaches.
Feel the Spirit
As you near Jaffa you will already feel its spirit. Poised on a hill above the shoreline like an elderly grandfather watching over its family, the beauty of its old stone buildings and ancient fortifications is clearly evident. The promenade will bring you along the beach to the northern entrance to Jaffa.
|As you near Jaffa you will already feel its spirit. The beauty if Jaffa is clearly evident.|
The Jaffa Clock Square
|Here you can choose to head up toward old Jaffa or veer left towards the Clock Square, a traditional starting point for touring Jaffa. In the clock square you can see the Clock Tower built by the Turkish Sultan Abed-el-Hamid II in 1906, the police station on the western side has been in use since British mandatorial times. |
The Jaffa Flea Market
Off The Beaten Path:
If you’re into strange and spooky places walk down the port area to the southernmost side (past the warehouses) to the ship graveyard…
One of the Oldest Towns in the World
The Turks, Napoleon and the British established their rule of the region through control of this city. Today the old city of Jaffa is a major tourist attraction and the winding alleys are full of cafes, restaurants and art galleries. In the center of the old city lies Kedumim Square pic4 (Kikar Kedumim) where there is a museum and a tourist information center (these are hidden under the square in a subterranean complex, look for the stairs in the middle of the square). From here you can wander through the small arched alleyways named after the signs of the zodiac.You can visit the Ilana Gur museum located in a beautiful old khan (ancient inn). If you want to relax there is a shaded park with sculptures of Israeli artists, and many secluded benches with great views. The old city is very romantic especially during sunset and during the night when the old facades are lit beautifully.
Old Jaffa is a historical site of great importance. Jaffa is one of the oldest towns in the world and is mentioned both in the Old and New Testament. The control over Jaffa has been coveted by rulers for ages, each conqueror leaving his own unique mark on the city.
|Mentioned both in the Old and New Testament, Jaffa is one of the oldest towns in the world|
Bordering the square on the north side is the Franciscan Church of St. Peter. In this 17th Century church, it is possible to visit the room where Napoleon stayed after the capture of the city. Jaffa has many churches representing numerous denominations: Catholic, Russian Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Church, Greek-Catholic Church, Lebanese-Moronic Church, Egyptian Coptic Church and many others. One can also see the grave of St. Tabitha, who because of her good deeds, was resurrected by St. Peter, who said to her’ “Tabitha Rise”.
Beyond the old city to the north lie the residential areas of Jaffa. Here time has lessened its pace and you get the feeling of how life was 200 years ago.
This is a good area to walk around if you want to experience not only the tourist Jaffa but the true character and inhabitants of this town. Jaffa is a mixed city with Jewish, Christian and Muslims living together in harmony.
Eating drinking and shopping in Jaffa--->