St. Peter’s Church, Jaffa

About this place

Plan Your Visit

  • Open Times: Services are held Monday to Friday at 07:00 (English), Saturday at 19:50 (Spanish) and 18:30 (Hebrew), and on Sundays at 09:00 (English), 18:00 (Polish), and 19:15 (Hebrew). The schedule can change so you should call ahead. Visitors are welcome Monday - Friday 8:00 - 11:45 and 15:00 - 17:00; Saturday 9:00 - 11:45 and 15:00 - 18:30 plus Sunday 9:00 - 11:45 and 15:00 - 19:00. The church is closed on Yom Kippur.
  • Prices: Entrance is free but donations are appreciated.
  • Average Visit Duration: Visitors spend about half an hour at the church.
  • Popular Times: If you are Christian the best time to visit is during one of the religious services. Otherwise, the most popular times are during the Christian holidays.
  • Special Events: Special services are held at Easter and Christmas.
  • Tours of St. Peter’s Church: Several great Tel Aviv Tours will get you pretty close, but the best is this Jaffa walking tour which tells the whole story of old Jaffa, including that of the famous church. Note that If you visit independently, there is no tour provided by the church. 

In the ancient port city of Jaffa, which is now a joint municipality with adjacent Tel Aviv, stands the Church of Saint Peter and monastery. It was built at the highest point of Jaffa overlooking the old port. Jaffa is one of the oldest port cities in the world, with a rich and colorful history. The church played a significant role in Jaffa’s history and welcomed pilgrims for hundreds of years. Originally a Byzantine church stood here, but it burned down and many years later a Crusader citadel was built on the church's remains. When the citadel was destroyed, it was replaced by a church in 1654, and the Ottoman rulers allowed Franciscans to settle here and operate a hostel for visiting pilgrims.  

St. Peter's Church in Jaffa

Later the church was restored with the help of funding from French King Louis IX. In the 18th century, it was destroyed and rebuilt twice. The current structure was built in 1894 and renovated in 1903. Since then it has been destroyed and rebuilt twice, The church we see today dates back to 1894, although it was given a facelift in 1903. St. Peter’s Church was the primary Catholic church in Jaffa until St. Anthony’s Church was built in 1932. Today the church is mainly used by foreign workers living in the city. Pro Tip: A room at the church once hosted Napoleon when he conquered Jaffa in 1799.

St. Peter’s Church in Jaffa: The Biblical Connection

Peter was one of the 12 apostles and is considered the first pope. He is known to have made Christianity accessible to all and to a large extent for spreading it throughout the world. The church was built in Jaffa to commemorate several deeds performed by St. Peter the Apostle in Jaffa.