A short account of the City of Jaffa, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide
Jaffa has been known as a port city in the central part of the country since 1800 BCE. Since then, it has been under the rule of every conqueror of this country, no fewer than 20 of them. Since the city was destroyed so many times, the archaeological digs have yielded several levels of civilization.
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The most important periods for our tour are:
- The Egyptian rule, from which we can see the 12th century BCE walls and gate.
- The Hasmonean (Macabee) rule over the city in the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE of the Second Temple time.
- The Crusader rule during the 12th-13th centuries, after which the city was leveled, and was rarely inhabited for over 400 years.
- Napoleon’s very short visit in 1799.
- The 19th century, in which Jaffa developed to a great extent, basing its economy on the export of the famous Jaffa oranges from the port.
- The 20th century, in which Jewish Tel Aviv grew side by side with Jaffa. After the War of Independence in 1948, the Arab population of Jaffa decreased from 70,000 to 4,000. In 1953, Jaffa was united with Tel Aviv to become one city.
The city today
Today, there are about 17,000 thousand Arabs living alongside 30,000 Jews (mostly post-1948 immigrants). During the past two decades, Jaffa has been undergoing gentrification, with new neighborhoods being built, and old houses being beautifully restored.
What are we going to see?
In old Jaffa we will visit the city gate from the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, the beautiful alleys and art galleries, St. Peter’s Church and the old port. We will also visit the flea market and a beautifully restored neighborhood.