The Jaffa Museum or Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities stands on the Mifrats Shlomo Promenade in Jaffa. The museum exhibits art, archaeological artifacts and changing exhibitions of contemporary art work. Although the museum is not big it manages to have an impact by exhibiting both ancient and contemporary art at the same site. Jaffa has been inhabited by a long list of successive conquerors including Canaanites, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and the British. Each has left its mark on Jaffa and the museum strives to show the city’s history through artifacts and archaeological objects left by these cultures.
The Jaffa Museum Building
The Jaffa Museum is housed in an Ottoman-era building constructed on the ruins of an 11th century Crusader fortress. Under the Ottomans the building served as an administrative office for Jaffa and the seat of the governor of Jaffa, Mohammed Agha (Abu Nabbut). During the Ottoman-era it also housed a post office and prison holding cell. In the 18th century the Ottoman authorities moved in to a new building in Clock Tower Square (Saraya House). In 1733 the Demianis family, a well-known Christian family bought part of the building and converted it into a soap factory. The soap factory compound (Assarayah al Atiqa) building was abandoned during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948 and fell into disrepair until being restored and opened as a museum. Today the structure houses the museum, an Arab-Hebrew Theatre and an unused section. If visiting the Jaffa Museum independently be sure to call ahead as they often close for special groups or events.