Ancient Joppa

About Jaffa (Ancient Joppa)

Jaffa, in Hebrew “Yafo”, ancient Joppa, is probably the oldest seaport city in the world with a history that goes back 4,500 years. Today, it is the southern part of the vibrant modern city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Jaffa is filled with life and culture from restaurants and cafes to shops and theatres.

Jaffa History

Jaffa is mentioned in the Bible as a city opposite the territory given to the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:46), as a port-of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon for Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 2:16), as the place where the prophet Jonah embarked for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3) and again as port -of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon for the Second Temple of Jerusalem (Ezra 3:7). Peter visited Joppa and raised Tabitha (Dorcas) to life (Acts 9:36-42). While staying with Simon the tanner in Joppa, Peter had a vision which led him to take the gospel to Cornelius, a Roman centurion in Caesarea (Acts 10:9-16).

Old Jaffa Harbour

It was once the disembarkation point for pilgrims to the rest of the Holy Land. It was also the only port to export Jaffa oranges from the late 19th century until the establishment of modern ports in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The Old Port is now an artist colony with numerous art galleries and studios. The port is busiest on summer evenings when free entertainment is sometimes staged and the boardwalk restaurants are packed with diners.

Interesting Facts

  • It is first mentioned in Egyptian sources that Joppa was one of the cities conquered by Thutmose III in the 15th century BC.
  • According to one tradition, the House of Simon the Tanner lies in the Old City on the hill above the port. Built on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Old City has been preserved in the same style as it was during the Ottoman period.
  • The Flea Market is a place for everyone – full of cute boutiques, ice cream parlours, souvenirs and collectibles.

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Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday

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