Monday, 27 August 2012 02:12

Visit the Old City of Jaffa on your Israel Tour

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You’ll find the Old City of Jaffa today a true mix of old and bohemian during your Israel tour: the traditional Mediterranean town market, the oldest port in Israel and popular for it’s fish restaurants, the art galleries, the flea market, and the upscale stores all co-existing beautifully together just a short distance from Tel Aviv. On the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Jaffa is best reached along the Tel Aviv promenade.

The port was a functional up until 1965, however it’s long history includes being mentioned in the bible as the port of entry for the cedar from Lebanon to build the First Temple in Jerusalem by King Solomon (2 Chronicles 2:15). Today the port of Jaffa has luxury yachts side by side next to local working fishing boats.
You can begin your holy land tour visit in Jaffa at the main Clock tower Square, built in 1906 to honor years of rule by the Turkish Sultan Abed El-Khamid II. A beautiful stained glass window on the tower depicts Jaffa’s history: ships bringing cedar from Lebanon, Jewish rebel ships sunk by Romans, and boats arriving and leaving the busy port. When visiting the Clock tower, you will have the convenience of a variety of fast foot outlets surrounding it.

West of the square is the Mahmoudiya Mosque, named after a governor of Jaffa in the 19th century and was notorious for carrying a large stick and pressuring dissenters.
Stroll up Mifratz Shlomo St. and reach Kdumim Square, where half way up the square you will find Aladdin Restaurant with a panoramic sea view, and excellent sea food for a wonderful time. Here at the Visitors Center of Kedumim Square, enjoy watching a film about Jaffa. At the North end of the Square you will find St. Peter’s Church. This popular stop during Christian Holy Land Tours of Israel is a Franciscan church built in the 17th century. In the church courtyard is a statue of the Crusader Louis IX, whom built fortifications in Jaffa and as well in Caesarea. After the French conquered Jaffa, Napoleon himself stayed here in a room.

Continue to Hapisga Park, with beautiful green lawns and panoramic views of the Tel Aviv coast lines with high rise hotels. The Park has modern art sculptures that depict Jaffa’s history, but in a much different way than the Clock tower stained glass. Walk down the narrow alleys lined with stores and art galleries that make Jaffa’s signature. Nearby go south down some broad steps, and arrive at Simon Habursky Lane and continue to Shimon Habursky’s House, the tanner whom St. Peter stayed with at his home, and believed where the Holy Spirit converted him to a believer.

Continue east down to Simtat Sartan, and on to an opening to Jaffa Port. Just follow the salty breeze and walk along the fishing boats, nets, and on to the sea food restaurants for a delicious meal down by the promenade next to the port.
Make a return up and to the Clock tower for a visit to the flea market on Yefet St, and stop for a mouthwatering desert at the Abulafia bakery, Jaffa’s oldest bakery built in 1880 before you return to your hotel to continue your tour of Israel.

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