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A walk in Jaffa


Clock Square
the old City
The harbor
Jaffa slope
Ajami and the hill of Aliyah

Clock Square

Jaffa is one of the oldest cities there is. At least six thousand years. Some say it is the ancient port city of the Mediterranean. The competition is with Gabel – Biblos on the Lebanese coast. It seems that Biblos was formerly named after Babylon, but Jaffa is ours and it is ancient and is a Levantine seaside town with a port that has never stopped working and wonderful food and an inexperienced day and night market and palace and kurkar houses and secrets and magic. And just a pleasure to walk around her streets every day. And every hour.

So here’s a little two or three or four hours or so you need to enjoy our wonderful Levantine port city.

Clock Square is a good place to start because it has been the entrance of Jaffa and its emblem since 1903.

The watch was built in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Sultan’s rule to El-Hamid the second in 1900. Towers were built in Jerusalem, Safed, Acre, Haifa and Jaffa and a total of 80 such towers were built throughout the empire – perhaps to signal the subjects of the empire to be exacted by European standards that the empire was far behind in the early 20th century.

It didn’t cost Sultan anything – the tower in Jaffa was erected with donations from Arab and Jewish city residents.

The idea of ​​building the clock tower was conceived by Moritz Schoenberg, a watchmaker and jeweler, a freemason in the Masonic Chamber, who initiated the construction of 17 stores on Busteros Street (Raziel). The French company management, which received the license to install the railroad in Jaffa in 1892, chose to install seven watches at the Jaffa to Jerusalem railway stations. The architect was Baruch Papirmeister from the early days of the CPA who studied in Berlin and designed the European structure. This explains why the Jaffa clock tower looks like a Yaki bell tower.

The cornerstone was laid on September 1, 1900 by the status of the Kaimkam, government officials and representatives of the religious leaders. In the morning, prayers were held in mosques, churches and synagogues, and in the evening the Rishon Lezion orchestra played.

The tower stands at the intersection of the city’s main gate in front of the new government building (Saraya) and opposite the police station and the prison (Kishela) where a new boutique hotel and the Mahmudia mosque built in the early 19th century by Mahmoud Aga, then known as Abu Nabout, were built On the name of the sailors with whom he was casting authority over the heads of his subjects. Just like today.

In 1901, the first two floors were completed and construction began on the third. Construction was completed in 1903, the two watches were installed, and on the second floor the signatory of Sultan Abdul Hamid II was engraved.

In 1965, the tower was renovated by the Tel Aviv municipality, new watches, artistic bars and vitrages were installed that describe episodes in the history of Jaffa, the work of the artist Arie Koren.

The watch was refurbished on its 100th birthday – in 2001, according to push and design by architects Eyal Ziv and Reli Prato. During the restoration, the original mechanism of the watch was found and the bell returned to accurate and ringing.

Here, too, was the market of Jaffa, and hence the Arab buses that would travel on Saturday to Haifa with the Jewish passengers who were coming from Tel Aviv. Today they come to eat here on Saturdays because Haifa has moved away over the years.

The clock square, even before the clock, came from the agricultural commodities and here has always been a market square of Jaffa. Because here the roads met from Nablus (today’s Eilat street) from Jerusalem (Olive Zion street)) and the road to Gaza (Yafet street)
The square was created around 1886 when the Jaffa Wall was demolished to improve the entrance to the Old City and to connect and transition between the neighborhoods that began to develop to the south – the Maronite, Ajami and Jabalia neighborhoods, and the Shabazi and Neve Tzedek Jewish neighborhoods that developed north on the coast and north-east towards What will be Tel Aviv starting in 1909
At that time, which is one of the largest known in Jaffa, the Greek market east of the clock was built for a fun stroll between the restaurant of Dr Shakshuka and Rojet’s cafe in the alleys built by the Greek Orthodox and so to this day this is called the A-Dir Market or the Greek Orthodox Abbey Market.

On the corner of the square – east of traffic, at 17 Raziel Street, stood until 10 years ago the building where the Herzliya Gymnasium was born in 1904. City Hall demolished it 10 years ago. The mayor apparently had an old account with the gymnasium.

But it is also the street that retains its old name – because if you go down a little on Raziel Street to the corner of Post Street, you can see the southeast corner of Post Street and auxiliary corner and burn the old name of the street – Bostros, and its date of birth – 1886.

It is a nice street that everyone who comes from Eilat Street knows – here were the hotels of Jaffa and the center of the Jewish institutions that left Jaffa after the 1929 disturbances and have not returned since.

Although the flea market, one of Jaffa’s cool places is enticing and close, it is worth leaving it to the end. There is no need for a guide, luck and a wallet.

But just before you continue, you should stand in the corner of Olive Zion Street and look west, toward the minaret of the Mahmoudia Mosque. Al Jama Yafa al-Kabir – Three of its outer walls are part of the wall. It is a central mosque that the whole city came to pray on Friday and it is named after Mahmoud Aga a-Shami is Abu Nabout. He is the one who built the mosque, Kishala, Saraya, the wall and more. At the southern entrance there is a marble sign with an inscription that the expansion works were completed in 1227 Hegra, (= 1812). The mosque is active and not a visit site. Too bad. Because it is probably the third largest in the Land of Israel (after the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Abraham Mosque in the Patriarchs Cave in Hebron).

But it is beautiful from this corner – for between the clock square and the mosque tower, there is a great arch over the drinking-passport, and the wave created from the arch with the minaret dome – the mosque spire is beautiful.

2. The Old City

And after you switch off, you go through the drinking furniture and climb to the hill of ancient Jaffa. To the left you can see the Jaffa Museum and below it the Arab theater. They are actually in the soap factory of the Christian Damiani family and here was also the administration building until the new sariya was built in the watch square – from which only huge columns were renovated on the north side of the square.

The building has crusader parts. And yes

And this is perhaps the place to say that most of ancient Jaffa is not so ancient in Middle Eastern terms. It is the Turkish city from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Though its lower vaults are crusader and legend says that beneath the city there is a network of tunnels that cross it from side to side.

On the other side of the soap factory is the Hammam, which was operated after the establishment of the state by Dan Ben Amotz and Benny Amdorsky – where Ben Amotz also held his farewell party not long before he went to an equally good place. Hammam is used today as an event club.

On the plaza overlooking Tel Aviv are the cannons and from which you can understand why Jaffa where it is. Because the Israeli coast is bay-free and there is just a little bending on the beach and opposite it are kurkar rocks that are the rocks of Jaffa that create the dock and port that the English, followed by the Israeli, poured concrete on to create a breakwater.

So the combination of a 40-foot hill, anchorage for boats and ships and springs of water – which today are under the hill and hide behind the mosque, were the good reasons for the foundation of Jaffa.

And when you look down, in the direction of the rocks, then there is one name that the Israeli flag flies over. Beneath it, five or six feet deep, there are skeletons of loads of drowned ships. believe me. There I learned to dive at the age of 14 when the Fin Dive Club was in the English concrete house located in the harbor just below the waterline. The only house in the country that is.

But the story they tell is the old story that mythology tells about Andromeda. And about her mother and father, Caiaphas, King of Jaffa and Cassiopeia – his queen.

It’s an old story. From the ancient days. Kippos and Cassiopeia the king and queen of Jaffa had an inclusive and glamorous name called Andromida. And Mother Cassiopeia really liked to say it. It annoyed the Nerads – the mermaids, the daughters of Poseidon the King of the Sea, who thought they were the most beautiful and successful. They complained to the king of the sea and, without thinking twice, he sent a huge dragon sea snake to Jaffa, which stormed and lifted waves, preventing merchant ships from sailing between Jaffa and Egypt and Cyprus and the Greek islands.

A port city whose port does not work, neither trades nor becomes rich and the merchants complained to the king asking for a solution. In their distress, Cappos and Cassiopeia turned to the oracle who knows everything, and that told them about the sea king and the dragon snake.

And what should be done? The king asked?

“Little thing – said the oracle, tying Andromeda to a rock in the middle of the sea and after the dragon monster eats it, the sea will calm down.

Cassiopeia didn’t scream and fainted.

But the good of the kingdom, of course, preceded that day, and Andromeda was bound to a rock at the mouth of the harbor, and there, weeping and wet from the stormy waves raised by the monster, was crying. She was 17 and still did not live and did not deserve the beauty of the monster.

But right then, in the sky, Perseus was on his way back from another impossible mission and had winged sandals that he received from the gods a sword and shield that makes him visible and invisible. He sent him from heaven. And when he saw the monster almost devour the Andromida he descended from the sky, holding one end of the endoramida rock, hovering with his sandals and the sword of a sword cut off the monster’s head.

The King is very happy. And the Queen, too. Only Cassiopeia’s groom was terribly angry because she fell in love with Perseus. And the celebration of the rescue became a big battle, at the end of which Piraeus took out the head of the jellyfish you rented in Libya, where one glance freezes every man to stone – and freezes them all, taking Andromeda and flying with her to one Greek island.

And that’s the real story. Andromeda on a Greek island and we are here with a rock in the sea.

This whole garden under the cannons was the place of the Jewish Quarter of Jaffa that was destroyed by the builders of the State of Israel.

At the top of the hill, at the most prominent point in ancient Jaffa, near Kedumim Square, stands the building which is one of the symbols of St. Peter’s Jaffa Church (St. Peter’s) erected on the foundations of a Crusader fortress. Erected on the remains of a Byzantine church that was destroyed in the Early Muslim period (7th century). CASA NOVA, the present church was built in the 20th century. Pope’s representative has been sitting here since 1993.
She is mostly beautiful on the outside. Here Napoleon is separate from his soldiers.

From here you should head to the top of the summit garden and look out over Tel Aviv and Jaffa to Abu Kabir. The road that crosses Old Jaffa originated in British action to suppress the 1936 Arab uprising. The operation is called

Anchor operation. During the operation, several dozen buildings were blown up for one day to open a road for armored cars in the center of the crowded Old City hill of Jaffa. The operation is so named because the roads (coming up from Louis Pasteur Street and down towards Ruslan Square) that were broken in with the house blast look like the sky as an anchor.

A large part of the demolition area) became what was called the large area. As part of the renovation and reconstruction program (see below) of ancient Jaffa, the large area became the summit garden of Jaffa

Old Jaffa was rebuilt in the mid-1960s and in its favor, Old Jaffa was founded. It was designed as an art district and only such people are supposed to live between its hangings, although in retrospect (despite its well-known attraction to artists) there are other residents in it – and that’s good. The architectural design was done by Ora and Ya’akov Yaar, Saadia Mendel and Eliezer Frankel, the landscaping was done by Abraham Caravan, (Danny Caravan’s father), who was responsible for the landscaping of the Tel Aviv municipality for many years.
The result is not bad at all, whatever the planners have given the alleys the names of the 12 zodiacs, and these add a chic accompaniment to the district.

The summit shield can be dropped to the southeast, where there is a large cistern that is the excavation of the Egyptian city gate, where a Ali Baba story and forty bandit stories were invented 3400 years ago.

Then the city is reminded of a list of cities conquered by Tutimsim III in the Land of Israel on his journey north. “Papyrus Harris” written about two hundred years after the voyage describes the occupation.

Three thousand and four centuries ago, he stood in front of the city walls, beneath the mighty plains built on the upright rock near the sea beneath a natural moor, an Egyptian king who marched along the coast of North Sinai and was on his way to founding an empire. Thothims, looking north to the marshes around the river that flows north. Bands of ducks, pigs, gamblers, and migratory birds rose in wings. There are no other natural anchors up to Jaffa for those who come from Sinai and Egypt. The king was on his way to fight in a Canaanite city alliance that encompassed all of the Land of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The battle will be held in MegiddoThe battle will be held in Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley. The year was 1483 BC. He wanted to set Egyptian borders far north. Vipo, the only comfortable mooring along the coast, stood fortified in its path. Every day he stood before the sturdy walls, giving his enemies time to organize the alliances, to harass the long supply lines of the army. He needed a quick victory that would not exhaust the army. The army surrounded the city. The city closed itself within itself, sentries on the sturdy walls, the oil boiling, leaping nervously over a small fire. The tar rattled in black circles. Large kurkar stones carved from the ridge on which the city is built were piled up in designated places above the slippery, food stores prepared for a long blockade. And the noise of the soldiers grinding the arrowheads and the spear-wintering saws the warm night air. But the day it lit up the next day surprised the residents of the city. Undermines their readiness.
From a distance, from the fields around the city, they could see an approaching peace expedition packed with communions and reconciliation to the walls. Envoys of the Egyptian king invited the ruler of the city for a meeting of evils and peace.
At noon, the city gates and the governor, accompanied by counselors and bodyguards, opened a vehicle to the tents of Tuthyms III. The gates were closed behind the king’s entourage and the army commanders were instructed to fight if anything happened to the king of the city and to slaughter the royal hostages who had deposited themselves with the ruler of the city by Tuthims.
The Egyptian ruler, dressed in a short white dress with a crown of upper and lower Egypt, at the waist of his waist belt and the papyrus head in his hand, welcomed the king of Jaffa. He gave gold from a font and a pickle, turquoise and copper from Sinai. After the gift exchange, Flegmies brought the wine in leather vases and pottery and alabaster. Then the geese and reindeer who hunted the Yarkon marshes reminded the Egyptian king of the Nile marshes near Luxor. And again wine. The harpist and the perpetrator played all the lost melodies that Jaffa spinners counted playing in Egyptian palaces. And when evening came down, the king of Jaffa and all the entourage sank into a heavy sleep of those who ate wonderful food and drank red and heavy wine. Tutims ordered soldiers to guard the tent, and heavy baskets were loaded on donkeys standing in front of the camp. The convoy proceeded to the city walls, ascending to the closed gates. The guards demanded to know what was inside the dozens of heavy baskets in the Nile Valley that led the army. The pickers picked up the baskets and showed them the cotton fabrics and the silver and golden stones, the mangoes they had just ripened and the mummified crocodiles. The gates were opened and the heavy baskets were brought into the city, transported in a protected convoy to the king’s palace, an alliance of peace and a gift between the young Egyptian king and the ruler of the naval city.
As even the sky and alleys around the palace darkened, cautiously opened, as if by themselves, the baskets, and two hundred noble soldiers, as dark as the night, emerged from them. They crept along the alleys to the gates, surprised the astonished guards and opened the heavy wooden doors. The surprise was full. In the marquee tent, the handsome king slept a heavy drunken year, snoring his mouth open and flies coming on Egyptian horse saddles buzzing around him. When he awoke the next day, the city was already occupied by the soldiers of Tuthyms and its gates burnt. Many years later, a thousand and night stories will tell of bandits trying to sneak in oil to Ali Baba’s house the same way. From the town conquered by Tutsim, nothing survived. Only a few walls dug into the garden above the harbor contain the story.

Descend from the garden and head into the Old City and there, at the end of the Pisces alley, in what appears to be the eastern entrance gate of the city, hung by Ran Maureen’s floating orange tree – homage to the Jaffa orchards. One of the beautiful political statues of the city that every generation re-enacts.

And in the same alley, across beautiful centuries-old shops and homes, is also the Alley Theater, the Ilana Gore Museum and the Libyan Immigrant Synagogue – which, surprisingly, is the city’s ancient prayer building.

The place, known as the “Zunana House,” was purchased by the 18th-century Zunana Jew. In the 19th century, the Jews stopped serving and served as a hostel and soap factory. In 1948 he began to serve as a synagogue for Libyan immigrants. In 1995, its eastern part became the Ilana Gur Museum.
The western part serves as a synagogue of the Libyan community and as a center for ancient Jaffa residents and Jewish neighborhoods, especially during the New Year holidays. It’s best to come here for every vow, hospitable and fun.

Then cross west, towards the harbor and go down to Simon Tanner’s house. Because Jaffa is not sacred to Jews nor to Muslims, but it is sacred to Christians. And Beit Shimon the Tanner is the most important Jaffa site in Jaffa for the Christian tradition.
It is next to the lighthouse that can be seen from the port east of the northern end of Hanger 1 and go up through the alley that exits from the harbor wall to the east – a crab alley – to the house.
Beit Shimon the tanner (the skeleton processor, one of the least fragrant professions considered ancient) was dedicated to hosting St. Peter (Simon Bar Yona – Kafa), one of the apostles who spread the teachings of Jesus. The house is for several generations owned by the Armenian Zakrian family in what was the Armenian Quarter.
There is also a lighthouse built during the British Mandate on the remains of a lighthouse from 1865, as well as a small mosque called Jama al-Budrus (Petros Mosque – 1730), near which was built a tower aimed at protecting the city from the west – Burj al Bajr (tower The sea).
Inside the house there is an active water well 15 m deep. Some say (mistakenly) that this is the only well in Jaffa, which is why Napoleon occupied the house. The house is identified by the well. The British built a lighthouse on the house in 1936. There is also a mosque and minaret called Jamee al-Tabiah, since Muslims do not disobey the New Testament and certainly not by miracles and miracles – local saints are not a common thing in a port city that does nothing.
The place of Muslim prayer settled where the miracle was done and together with it also a dispute over ownership since the Arabs claim that the house is sacred land (Waqf) while the Zakarian family claims it is hers. Because of the controversy, the house does not function as a tourist site, despite its importance to the city’s residents and Christian pilgrims visiting it.
The present of course contradicts

The present, of course, contradicts Shimon Kafa’s intention to reside with Shimon the tanner who was one of the inferiors in the city, since the skins processors were known for their stench and poorness and it was not customary to connect with them. Its power in its early stages – from the proletarian masses, an accepted practice in many religions in their early days.

Here, at noon one summer day, to escape the heat and stink of skin, Hepha rose as Saint Peter to the roof of Simon Tanner and fell asleep. In his dream, an angel appeared, commanding him to eat from “all the beasts of the earth and beast and rams and the fowl of the sky.” Peter protests that he has never eaten “figuring and unclean” and replies that “you whom the God has purified do not defile.”

He wakes up full of terror and then comes a hundred Roman minister from Caesarea. The Jews did not convert Romans at that time. Peter accepts the dream as a divine imperative to convert idolaters. Here, in this place, Christianity opens and becomes a religion that will inherit Judaism because it accepts those who want to join it. This is the importance of Jaffa, the home of Shimon the tannery and of course Peter the dream-dreamer.

The alleys go to the harbor through the galleries.

Port of Jaffa

An ancient port of Mahadrin. For thousands of years he has been there and during the 1980s and 1990s, port fishers Uri Sharon and Sa’ad Zeinab and Yossi Flug and Daniel Yaffe and his tenants and neighbors from Jaffa Yaffa for a long time against his privatization and sale. And succeeded after launching boats in Rabin Square and marching on Jerusalem to persuade those sitting in the Knesset that a port of the people is anchored to a yacht of one rich. there were days.

Since then, the harbor has been renovated and the fishermen continue fishing and the warehouses have been filled with restaurants and parking lots and in its southern part, after warehouse number three, for many years the sculptor Emanuel has been watching the anchors and ships of gray basalt rock and raising a glass for the life of the ships and women passing by the sea and the boardwalk.

On calm days you can reach the edge of the harbor, take a mask and snorkel and go snorkeling among the rocks on which the British built their sea wall – this is a place with lots of fish and in the autumn, when the fish bands come here – it looks like a little Chinese. And in Jaffa.

And Emanuel’s train car at the southern end of the harbor can be chosen, if it’s time, up the stairs east to the Maronite neighborhood and there, at the end of the dolphin street to stand in line or arrive early enough to hunt one of the chairs at Abu Hassan Allah’s tables and wipe a hot dish like usual In Jaffa.

Or continue into the slope park. From 1974 to 2005, this was the Tel Aviv scrap and waste land. Then the municipality decided to demolish Manshiya and Ajami and pour them into the sea. Now there is a park and grass here and you can walk along the sea. It did not happen by itself and not because such a wonderful mayor. This miracle, in which a large group of residents failed to return a beach and sea to a devastated city, was a struggle that began sometime in the mid-1980s and involved a struggle of city residents, Arabs and Jews and two nonprofits – Jaffa Yaffa and the Association for the Jaffa Arabs, who joined hands. And they stuck their metaphorical teeth in Huldai’s neck until he got tired of it and he spent 50 million of the money the municipality usually raises from residents to support the municipality, returning almost the sea to Jaffa. That is, the municipality and the architect forgot to return the beach and make a park even though the residents reminded them that a park can be done everywhere and beach only strangely at sea, but even so we really love the park and most of all, the idea we won, that is, the mayor and film proud and very proud, But we don’t care. From the time of Abdul Hamid II we are used to paying and the Sultan builds the clock tower for us.

The big prize at the end is the hill of Aliyah, but at the moment the municipality is trying to ruin it because it is building a new and unnecessary promenade there and pouring piles of stones and rocks on what should be the law of Jaffa bathing beach and it is our only beach.


It is worthwhile to return to the streets of Ajami, to the houses, some of which are palaces built here in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and some are the outcome of renovating Jaffa in the last twenty years , filling the spaces that opened in the city during the stupid period of destruction. Of the 1970s and early 1980s. And there is no point in stopping near a palatial villa like the one before 59 which is exactly the type of house built by Italian architects. 4.65 m first floor height. The height of the second floor is 5.25 m. Roof tile, two-by-two windows, painted floors.

There are also such houses in Jerusalem in Haifa in Nazareth and in Beirut. But especially here in Jaffa, you know how to do it right and right.

And to this  joyful trip you can add line 15, the same minibus that goes from Wolfson via Ajami to Jerusalem Boulevard and you can return with it to the Fish Market, the wonderful market of Jaffa from early morning until evening and in the evening it became the new entertainment area for the beautiful and beautiful of Tel Aviv and its daughters. And the beer flows there as if Jaffa is not the six-thousand-year-old that she is and just today went out to spend.

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