Long considered the oldest seaport in the world, the city of Jaffa is often overlooked as simply the older sister of its larger neighbor Tel Aviv, but it’s much more than that. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Jaffa was a strategic prize. With a natural harbor and fertile soil, it was conquered and reconquered countless times throughout the ages. As a former shipping and pilgrimage hub for the faithful heading to Jerusalem, Jaffa today retains remnants of old shops and houses of worship peppered throughout the ancient city.
The ancient port of Jaffa (biblical Joppa) from which the prophet Jonah fled from God (Jonah 1:3) and the city where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner and restored Tabitha to life (Acts 9:36–43).
Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Jaffa was, for centuries, one of the main seaports to Israel and the Holy Land.
Picturesque Jaffa streets and alleys are filled will boutiques and art shops.
Abrasha Park is a small but well-kept park in Jaffa. It is a good place to walk and admire the panorama of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean.
A large modern sculpture sits atop Abrasha Park in Old Jaffa. This statue, The Gate of Faith, depicts the capture of Jericho across the top (Joshua 6), Abraham offering Isaac to God (Genesis 22), and Jacob’s dream at Bethel (Genesis 28) with two angels, one ascending and one descending.
Kedumim Square is the centerpiece of Old Jaffa. The archaeological dig beneath the square has been turned into a visitors’ center. The plaza is filled with restaurants, shops, and spectacular views.
St. Peter’s Church in Old Jaffa was built in recognition of Peter’s vision in biblical Joppa (Acts 10). It was built over a medieval citadel that was erected in the twelfth century and restored in the thirteenth century. However, in the late eighteenth century, the church was destroyed and rebuilt on two separate occasions. The current structure was built between 1888 and 1894 and was most recently renovated in 1903.