Plan Your Visit
Open Times: 24/7
Average Visit Duration: 10-30 minutes.
Popular Times: During daylight hours. Pro Tip: Visit in the late afternoon so you can enjoy the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. Attention, Instagrammers! This is one of the best chances for great pics.
Relevant Tours: A walking tour of Jaffa usually includes the Ramses II Gate Garden. You can also take a private Tel Aviv tour and ask to reach this lovely spot.
A series of connecting parks slope down from Jaffa’s Old City towards the beginning of the beachfront promenade that leads to Tel Aviv. The first of these tranquil gardens, closest to Jaffa is the Ramses II Gate Garden (Sha’ar Ra’amses Garden or Ramesses Garden).
Ramses Gate in Jaffa
The main attraction of the small park is the Ramses II Gate, a triumphal arch. The gate is not the original which stood here over 3,300 years ago, but it does give you an idea of what it would have looked like and where it would have been.
Pro Tip: If you want to see the original visit the Jaffa Museum. It is also a reminder that the Egyptians were in Jaffa. The gate has carved hieroglyphics praising Ramses II, Pharaoh of Egypt who lived from 1304 BC to 1214 BC. The gate stands in front of excavated ruins with remnants from several historical periods.
History of Ramses II Gate Garden
The area of south-eastern Jaffa which is now a pleasant park was destroyed by the British during the British Mandate of Palestine (1917-1946), to control an Arab revolt. The area deteriorated to become a slum area of the city. In the 1960s, archaeological excavation in the area revealed the remains of an Egyptian gateway, that turned out to be from the 12th century BC.
Further exploration uncovered stones covered in clay and an altar featuring a sphynx-like lion image from the same period. Pro Tip: The site is open to the public to explore when they visit the park.
The Egyptians in Jaffa
The legend of how the Egyptians conquered Jaffa is a bit like the Greek story of the Trojan Horse. In the 15th century BC, Pharaoh Thutmose III brought gift bakers to the people of Jaffa as a sign of peace, but hidden in the baskets were Egyptian soldiers. Once inside Jaffa’s city walls, the soldiers jumped out and opened the city gates to let in the waiting Egyptian troops. The people of Jaffa were taken by surprise and were caught off guard.
The gate itself (Image source: Sylvia Steinberg)
The Egyptians remained in Jaffa for 350 years, and it was an administrative center and military base. The triumphal arch that stands in the park today was at the entrance to an Egyptian fortress overlooking the port. The excavations include part of one of the fortress walls. There are also remains of the fortress ramparts and many small items such as bowls, and pottery shards. The Egyptians were just one of a long list of invaders who ruled Jaffa including the Canaanites, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, and British. The result is a treasure trove of archaeological gems.
Pro Tip: The Jewish exodus from Egypt may have taken place during Ramses II’s rule.
Visiting Ramses II Gate Garden
You can reach Ramses II Gate Garden from several points in Jaffa, its location on the seam between Jaffa and the Tel Aviv promenade makes it a perfect place to start or finish a tour of Jaffa. Pro Tip: Nearby is the Wishing Bridge that connects Peak Park with Kedumim Square in the heart of Old Jaffa - and many more of the best attractions in Jaffa.