Rothschild Boulevard, Tel-Aviv
Rothschild Boulevard is a beautiful and historic tree-lined boulevard in the center of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, it has many popular eateries, places of entertainment and historic sites as well as a vibrant atmosphere. The original name of Rothschild Boulevard was Rehov HaAm – the “People’s Street” and it gained its present name by popular demand to honor Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Rothschild runs from the Neve Tzedek neighborhood to the Habima Theatre at the northern end. Habima is Israel’s national theatre and Rothschild Boulevard is also home to the Fredric Mann Auditorium where the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra is based.
Rothschild Boulevard’s many trees and wide pavements are used to good advantage by out-door cafes. This is one of the trendy places to spot Israeli celebs catching a bit to eat or an intimate coffee rendezvous. Join the locals who love to sip their coffee while watching the world go by. Rothschild Boulevard has many fine restaurants as well as the usual fast food outlets.
At number 23 is Beit Hagana, the Israeli Defense Force Museum where the story of Jewish defense before the establishment of the country is told. The boulevard has a number of prestigious galleries including the Sommer Contemporary Art gallery at number 13. Independence Hall was the site of the signing of the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. It was here that the famous photo was taken of Ben Gurion in front of a crowd as he announced the new country’s establishment. Today visitors can see a photo exhibition and the room where the historic event took place.
Outside Independence Hall on an elongated island in the middle of the boulevard is an equestrian sculpture of Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel-Aviv. Also on the island are shady trees, gardens and a large water feature which is popular with kids who want to run their fingers through the water. Also on this central strip are pedestrian and cycling paths. The central pedestrian area was once a narrow wadi or dry stream running between the two lanes of the street. The wadi was filled in and the central strip constructed turning the street into a Boulevard.
The boulevard has some stunning architecture including examples of Bauhaus. Tel-Aviv has been recognized by UNESCO for its high concentration of Bauhaus buildings. On the corner of Herzl Street and Rothschild is a recently renovated house which belonged to one of Tel Aviv-Yaffo’s founding families, the Eliavson family. Where the boulevard meets Allenby Street is the Lederberg house which was built in 1925 and has fascinating ceramic murals on the exterior by Ze’ev Raban. The murals feature scenes of Jewish pioneers working in the fields, a shepherd and Jerusalem. Several important buildings along Rothschild are part of the city’s world of finance including the First International Bank Tower and the offices of HSBC Bank, branches of all the banks and several brokerage firms. Tall skyscrapers stand side-by-side with Rothschild’s historic houses.