The German Colony in Palestine

27 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  34 minutes

German Colony Jerusalem - Templer Communal House © Shayzu/cc-by-sa-3.0

German Colony Jerusalem – Templer Communal House © Shayzu/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Templers, a religious Protestant sect formed in southern Germany in the 19th century, settled in Palestine at the urging of their leader, Christoff Hoffman, in the belief that living in the Holy Land would hasten the second coming of Christ. The Templers built a colony in keeping with strict urban planning principles and introduced local industries that brought modernity to Palestine, which had long been neglected by the Ottomans. They were the first to organize regular transportation services between Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth, which also allowed for mail delivery. In 1874 the Christian denomination of the Temple Society underwent a schism and later envoys of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces successfully proselytised among the schismatics, making up about a third of the colonists. Thus the Colony became a place of partisans of two different Christian denominations and their respective congregations.   read more…

Theme Week Tel Aviv – Jaffa, one of the oldest port cities in the world

5 November 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  8 minutes

Port of Jaffa © Almog

Port of Jaffa © Almog

Jaffa Port is an ancient port located in the Old City of Jaffa. Jaffa and its port have a history spanning over three millennia. The port itself is mentioned in various ancient works, including the Bible (the prophet Jonah) and Josephus. Still functional as a small fishing port, the port is currently a recreational zone featuring restaurants and cafés. A lighthouse, Jaffa Light, is located above the port. It operated between 1865 and 1966, although it is still used as a daylight navigation aid. Jaffa Light was built by French engineers in 1865. It was built as part of operations carried out by the Ottoman authorities to improve the port facilities, mainly due to the increase in export of citrus fruit, and especially oranges, the well known Jaffa oranges. Tell Yafo (Jaffa Hill) rises to a height of 40 meters (130 ft) and offers a commanding view of the coastline; hence its strategic importance in military history. The accumulation of debris and landfill over the centuries made the hill even higher. Archaeological evidence shows that Jaffa was inhabited some 7,500 years BCE. Jaffa’s natural harbor has been in use since the Bronze Age.   read more…

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