Jaffa is one of the oldest port cities in the world, it has been inhabited since approximately 7.500 years BCE and the harbor has been in use since the Bronze Age.
Jaffa has been ruled by the Egyptians, and the Canaanites as well as other ancient civilizations and eventually by the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt. It was later destroyed after its capture by the Romans who slaughtered thousands during Maccabean times.
Old Jaffa is mentioned a number of times in the Bible’s Old Testament, in the books of Chronicles, Joshua, Ezra and Jonah. Both King David and King Solomon used the port for the import of timber to build temples.
In the new Testament there is a mention that Peter performed the miracle of the resurrection of the widow Tabatha in Jaffa as well as receiving a vision where he is instructed by God that there should be no discrimination between Jews and Gentiles.
The city became a tumultuous area after the Death of Jesus with nearly all the great powers seeking to control it amongst them the Crusaders and the Ottoman Empire until British control. At that time the Arabs led riots and Pogroms against the Jewish residents causing them to establish the city of Tel Aviv.
Today Jaffa is part of the municipality of Tel Aviv and although no longer used as a port, the old city has been beautifully restored and has a varied population consisting of Jews and both Muslim and Christian Arabs.
There is so much to see in Jaffa, starting at the Port which has a marina and fishing boats can be seen coming and going all day, regularly bringing in catches of fresh fish which can be eaten at the many fish restaurants located at the harbor or bought directly from the boats along the wharf. Stroll through the winding cobblestone alleyways and discover art galleries, cafés and restaurants. Walk up the path to the top of Jaffa hill where restored archeological excavations can be found. Also at the top of the hill is St Peter’s Church. While touring Jaffa, don’t forget to visit the Clock Square and the Flea market.
There are many attractions that draw tourists to Jaffa with its lovely restored buildings and narrow lanes which house art, curio and souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and the beautiful views of the sea and beaches of Tel Aviv. At night Old Jaffa becomes a very romantic place to stroll around with its lovely special effects lighting.