Tel Aviv: A World Heritage Site
Tel Aviv means “Hill of Spring”. It is the second largest city in Israel and the country’s commercial center. Tel Aviv is a thriving city that is filled with vim and vigor. It is Israel’s version of New York City . Located in the Mediterranean coastline, some 60km on the northwest direction of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is the very first all-Jewish city in modern times. Originally named Ahuzat Bayit, Tel Aviv was founded as a Jewish neighborhood by 60 families in 1909.
As time goes by, Tel Aviv also rapidly grew. It’s burgeoning population, insatiable energy, edginess and 24-7 lifestyle are among the many factors that give the city an urbane style that equates to other cities in any part of the world.
Over 5,000 Bauhaus buildings envelops the City of Tel Aviv, making it known to have the largest number of Bahaus establishments erected in one place all over the world. This “outstanding universal value” awarded by UNESCO gave it the recognition as a “World Heritage Site”. Tel Aviv is also famously known as “The white city” because of the bright colors of the buildings light yellow, off-white and white shades.
Tel Aviv is where the nighttime activities in Israel flourish. The beaches are clean and pristine white, the ocean breeze is warm, the nightclubs are hopping, the shopping sites are abundant and the restaurants are extremely appetizing. One can stroll down the promenade along the sea or the beach during the day and down Dizengoff Street during the night. The sculpture fountain created by the acclaimed Israeli artist Yaacov Agam is a great place to rendezvous. Tel Aviv is also a good ground for exploring the northern and southern Mediterranean coasts.
Allenby and Ben Yehuda are among the streets that are filled with boutiques, museums, and restaurants. Off the streets of Rehov HaCarmel is an open-air market. If you walk going north down towards the seashore, past the Yarkon River – you will reach a popular area of clubs and restaurants – in the vicinity of the Dizengoff and Yirmiyahu streets. One could just walk along the safe streets of Tel Aviv to get to know its entire identity.
Another great place to visit is the Tel Aviv Museum, where you will witness the sculpture and paintings of Sderot Shaul Hamelekh local artists.
Tel Aviv represents the hub of a prospering Israeli megalopolis. If Jerusalem is Israel’s center of governance, the city of Tel Aviv, harbors the economic and cultural complex. In summertime, the beach line is crowded with tourists even as early as 4am. Clubs and bars usually are hyped up around midnight until morning. This place is truly the place for the party animals. It gives Tel Aviv a prestige of being a party town. Tel Aviv is truly the apogee of the ultimate urban life in Israel.
How to Get There
Tel Aviv can be reached from Ben Gurion International Airport. Through the airport you can get to Tel Aviv either by train, by car or taxicabs. The cost of the train ride is 12NIS while the cost of the taxi ride is 120NIS and the ride usually takes 15-12 minutes.
Jaffa: An Old City
Jaffa, which means “beautiful”, is one of the world’s oldest cities. For more than 4,000 years, Jaffa has been a fortified port overlooking the astonishing waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Jaffa has been the prey of the many covetous conquerors like Richard the Lion Hearted, Saladin and Napoleon because of its tactical military position. The Legend of the bible says the city of Jaffa was named after Noah’s son, Yefet, who built Jaffa after the flood. Jaffa is also where a very large whale engulfed the Prophet Joshua, on his flight to escape God.
History of Jaffa
The city of Jaffa’s history is connected to a macabre of sequential acquisitions that oscillated Israel’s peaceful dwelling through the millennium. In biblical times, Jaffa was made capital city of Egypt. The Canaanites, the Philistines and other ancient people also ruled over the city of Jaffa. The Roman Empire invaded and demolished the City of Jaffa during Maccabean times, annihilating its inhabitants.
As you now know, Jaffa was ravished, defiled, and destroyed. It fell into the hands of many conquerors. Jaffa also came under Arab command and became its major regional port and provincial capital during the middle ages. But what marked the most violent period in the streets of Jaffa is the Crusades’ seizure. It was because of the ongoing war between the Christian forces and Saladin who refused to surrender Jaffa. Jaffa was even in a very destitute condition when the Ottoman Empire came to control over it in the 16th century. Jaffa was slowly restored in the 18th century but local residents had to flee once again when pirates took control of the port. Following Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, Jaffa finally became part of the new State of Israel. From then on it was merged with the municipality of Tel Aviv, and is now called Tel Aviv-Jaffa. At last, the beautiful port of Jaffa found rest.
The City of Jaffa is now the most progressive city because of its fishing, banking, and agricultural industries. Jaffa had many factories specializing in the production of world-class cigarettes, cement making, plants that process cottons, handmade carpets, packaging of its exported oranges, and many more.
The modern Jaffa is a city of varied population of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It is currently experiencing a huge wave of development. Jaffa is now the home of striving young artists, the wealthy, and the less affluent people, the fishermen and the religious, the peace loving and the historians.
Jaffa is like a sand castle, destined as beautiful, but is constantly washed and destroyed away by the strong ocean waves called time. Yet, a purpose driven hand puts it back together, making it’s exterior stronger and laying a good foundation on the interior. Once again, Jaffa stands, rises above its ruins, beautiful.
You can walk the streets of Jaffa to remember its bloody history, or appreciate its booming situation in the present. Either way, Jaffa’s past or present will forever dictate its future.