Jaffa Port lies at the southern end of Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade; it is one of the oldest ports in the world. For over 3,000 years the port has served the Holy Land as a fishing port and welcomed merchants, pilgrims, travelers, conquerors and immigrants.
Jaffa Port has been completely restored and preserved; it is now a picturesque historic area with ancient stone lanes leading down to the water’s edge. Jaffa Port is home to restaurants, cafes, art galleries and stores that inhabit the restored warehouses and port buildings.
History of Jaffa Port
Jaffa is mentioned in ancient works including the Old Testament. During the Canaanite Period (18th century BC) Old Jaffa was already established on the limestone cliff that protrudes into the Mediterranean.
From the 15th to 1st century BC Jaffa changed hands several times and was ruled by the Egyptians, Philistines; Israelites; Assyrians; Alexander the Great and Syria. Jaffa Port received materials for construction of King Solomon’s Temp in Jerusalem and Jonah fled God’s command by taking a ship from the port of Joppa (Jaffa) to Tarshish. It was in the 1st century BC that St Peter arriving in Jaffa.
In the following years conquerors continued to come and go; in 636AD Caliph Omar conquered Jaffa and in 1099 the Crusaders took Jaffa. In 1799 Napoleon captured Jaffa from the Ottomans, although he didn’t stay long in the country. In the 1800s “Jaffa” oranges were shipped across the world from Jaffa Port. In 1917 The British took Jaffa; they built a customs house and expanded the port southward. The British stayed in Jaffa until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. In 2007 Jaffa Port underwent a compete facelift.
Highlights of Jaffa Port
If you look out to sea you can see Andromeda’s Rock where Greek mythology tells that King Cappaus tied his daughter Andromeda to the rock and Perseus flew down on his winged horse to rescue his love from sea monsters.
On the dockside is the Nalag’at Theatre and BlackOut restaurant both run completely by visually and hearing impaired community. Also along the port dock are old warehouses that have been renovated and turned into coffee houses, bars, nightclubs and galleries.
You can still see fishermen plying their trade in the port as they did 3,000 years ago. The port has many exciting eateries and Jaffa has a reputation as a real foodie destinations. From May to October you can enjoy free entertainment and special events on the dockside including life shows, art exhibitions, workshops, outdoor dance classes and food fairs.