Yafo or Jaffa Israel is not an independent city. It is part of the big metropolis of Tel Aviv. Here we are going to talk about this ancient biblical city of many names as Joppe or Joppa in the Bible, Yaffa in Arabic and Jaffa in English.
Seating next to Tel Aviv is the Old City that goes back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows that Jaffa was inhabited some 7,500 years BCE. The harbor has been used since the Bronze Age. It was once conquered by Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt and was under Egyptian control until 800 BCE.
The Clock Tower is a symbol of Old Jaffa
Places of interest in Yafo
The old buildings are now home to many restaurants, shops and art galleries. There are many promenades and sidewalk cafes.
Click here to Share your Story
Aerial view of Yafo and the coast of Tel Aviv
The Flee Market is called in Hebrew "Shuk Hapishpishim"
Brief History of Yafo
It is mentioned in the Jewish Bible several times
Several rulers throughout the years
Old Jaffa buildings host an array of galleries, shops and restaurants
Yafo became an important and successful city
Jaffa Israel developed into a successful city with many factories producing an array of products like candy, soap, olive oil, leather, and wine among others. Printing of books was a serious enterprise then.
In the middle of the 19th century the population of Yafo was about 5000 of them 1000 Christians, 800 Jews and the rest Muslims.
In those years the orange growing was in the hands of Arabs using old fashioned methods. The Jews brought in modern equipment and developed the famous Jaffa Oranges industry famous worldwide.
At the beginning of the 20th century the population of Yafo kept growing substantially. This is when a group of Jews left Yafo for the northern dunes and founded what today is Tel Aviv in 1909. Other suburbs around Tel Aviv were founded almost at the same time.
The Coastal Cannons with an impressive view of Modern Tel Aviv
The British Mandate
Jaffa kept growing but at a slower pace than Tel Aviv. The Jews of Yaffo either lived on the outskirts of the city or plainly moved to Tel Aviv. The city of Jaffa was predominantly Arab.
In the Arab revolt 1936-1939 the city was very affected with strikes and fighting. The British had to bring help from other places in the Mediterranean to control the situation.
By 1945 the city of Jaffa had 102,000 inhabitants 54% Muslims, 30 Jews and 16% Christians. The Christians were mainly Greek Orthodox and Catholic.
After Israel Independence
The first years of Independence and the war that erupted, saw lots of problems and fighting in Yafo that slowly calmed down and in 1950 the city was united with Tel Aviv on the north and became until today a unity called Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Now Yaffo has a heterogeneous population of Jews, Christian and Muslims living together in harmony. Parts of Old Yafo have been renovated turning the city into a prominent tourist attraction.
The Wishing Bridge
"Touch the bridge, Look to the Sea and Ask for a Wish"
Today, Yafo, Jaffa or however you want to call it is a thriving city very popular among Israelis especially on weekends, meaning Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. People from all around the area come here to have a good meal or just walk around and have a great time.
Needless to say that Yaffo is also a great tourist attraction at a walking distance from Tel Aviv hotels area.
From the Tel Aviv Hotels start walking south on the beach sidewalk and you’ll get to Old Jaffa.
All by Dr. Avishai Teicher Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Visit our sister Website
Sea of Galilee
Flowers in the Negev