Tel Aviv’s historical sites are quite different from those of Jerusalem. The modern city has incorporated historical landmarks into its urban landscape so that hundred-year-old houses stand in the shadow of shiny skyscrapers. The Sarona neighborhood is a perfect example of how Tel Aviv’s historical sites are used, rather than being viewed from a distance. Sarona, was a German Templar colony, established in 1871, and today it is occupied by fashion boutiques and gourmet food stores. Exploring the Tel Aviv neighborhoods like Neve Tzedek, you can see how historical sites have not been left to crumble, but instead, they are restored, and given a new lease on life.
Many historical sites in Tel Aviv date back to the establishment of the city in 1909, and to the early days of the State of Israel, such as Independence Hall, on Rothschild Boulevard, where the declaration of independence was signed, and Beit Bialik, the restored home of Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934), Israel’s national poet. Although Tel Aviv is a modern city it also has a few ancient historical sites, like Ramses II’s Gate in Jaffa, that dates back to the time of Egyptian ruler Ramses II (1400-1200BC).
Any look at Tel Aviv’s historical sites must include Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest port cities. Take a walk through the narrow twisting lanes of Old Jaffa, and see the Monastery of St. Peter, an 1812 mosque, the Ottoman clock tower, and the House of Simon the Tanner, where the apostle Peter may have stayed.
Tel Aviv is known as the White City, because of its high concentration of over 400 Bauhaus, Eclectic, and International style buildings from the 1930s-40s. You can spot many of these architectural gems simply by strolling around the city, or you could join a tour of Tel Aviv to really get a better understanding of the city’s history.