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inisrael: Tel Aviv - Jaffa: Old Jaffa    
Old Jaffa Tel Aviv  
Old Jaffa
According to Christian legend, Jaffa was named after Noah's son, Japhet, who built it after the Flood. There are others who believe that the name derives from the Hebrew word "Yofi" - beauty. From archaeological discoveries and ancient documents we learn that Jaffa existed as a port city some 4,000 years ago, serving Egyptian and Phoenician sailors in their sea voyages.

Historians believe that Jaffa is the only port in the world which can boast uninterrupted inhabitation throughout its entire existence. The biblical account mentions that the cedars from Lebanon for the construction of King Solomon's Temple came in via Jaffa. Jonah departed from this city in his flight from God. Greek legend tells of the chaining of the beautiful Andromeda to the rocks facing Jaffa's shore. Simon the Tanner lived in Jaffa, and it was here that the Apostle Peter performed a miracle. Roman legions, Richard the Lion Hearted, Napoleon and Turkish sultans all conquered the city; but with the eclipse of the Ottoman Empire, the city's vitality declined. Towards the end of World War I, the city was conquered by General Allenby, ushering in the period of the British Mandate.

Jaffa Port - Virtual tour
The port of Jaffa, (the sole port at the time) served as the point of entry for the increased Jewish immigration which came to resettle the land. The Jews suffered from pogroms and persecution at the hands of the Arabs. The attacks reached a peak shortly before the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948. Jewish defensive actions led to the flight of most of the city's Arabs, and shortly after that part of the city was settled by impoverished Jewish families whom the war had left homeless.

Jaffa at night - Virtual tour
The poverty of the population threatened the continuation of active life in Jaffa as a thriving city. In 1968, the Government of Israel and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality decided to establish a corporation for the Development of Old Jaffa, entrusting to it the task of averting the total destruction of Old Jaffa's glorious past.

Old Jaffa has since become one of Israel's foal tourist attractions. It is filled with artists' quarters, studios and art galleries. Shops catering for Judaica, archaeology, jewelry aid art, line its narrow alleys which are named after the signs of the Zodiac.

Visitors from both Israel and abroad enjoy dining in its unique restaurants or simply wandering around. People seem to gaze in fascination at the sight of the ancient Port and the rocks, and some are dumbstruck by the beauty of the renovated Jaffa harbor set against the back drop of the city of Tel Aviv -the first Jewish city in modern times - a vital, dynamic and vibrant metropolis that never sleeps - and which has grown out of Jaffa. Old Jaffa in itself is a quaint city, more picturesque than ever, with romantic paths and gardens. All this, together with the Mediterranean's sun-drenched waves and the special lighting effects at night, serve to excite and arouse the senses and the soul.

Hatachana Complex, is a renovated historical site, now with shops and other attractions on the border of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

Old Jaffa
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