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Tel Aviv An Oasis of the Bauhaus

The Bauhaus is to Tel Aviv what Art Deco is to Miami or Modernism is to Barcelona, an unmistakeable identity trait which is the pride and joy of the city’s inhabitants. We came across more than 1,000 buildings in the length and breadth of the city, which stretches for 50 square kilometres.

Bauhaus Comes To Tel Aviv

The relationship between Tel Aviv and the Bauhaus goes back to the 1930s when, coinciding with the rise of the Nazi party, many Jewish architects decided to leave their homeland and try their luck elsewhere. At that time, the future metropolis was a young city with an urge to expand and to tap its full potential. The so-called White City – as the area housing these buildings is known – was built between the early 1930s and 1948 to an urban layout designed by Sir Patrick Geddes, based on the principles of modern organic urbanism. The likes of Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus in Weimar, and of Arieh Sharon, Shlomo Bernstein and Shmuel Mestechkin, arrived in Tel Aviv and drew up an elaborate, ambitious urban plan which enabled the directives of this style to be adapted to the arid surroundings of the site and to its Mediterranean context. Thus, the light, fresh air of this architecture consorted to perfection with the thirst for renewal and creativity that characterised what would become the new State of Israel as of 1948.

Preservation – A New Challenge

The buildings were designed in light colours – generally white – leaving open-air pillars for the wind to blow unfettered through the lower part of the buildings, while recessed windows were fitted to check the passage of heat. The Bauhaus of Tel Aviv is also characterised by its straight lines, its symmetry and a minimalist style which even today tends to amaze visitors on account of its simplicity and overall character. The fact is that, faced with a new cultural context, those architects designed an exceptional set of buildings which became highly representative of the modern architecture movement.

Despite the large number of such buildings scattered about the city, their state of preservation is somewhat precarious. In fact, over 4,000 of these buildings were originally erected, so many of them clearly did not survive. Hence, concerted endeavours have been under way in recent years to restore over 1,000 extant constructions to their original state. It is a slow, arduous task, as most of them are private property and have not been touched since their completion some 70 or 80 years ago.

The Best Examples In the City

Given the large number of surviving buildings, the best thing is to plan an itinerary before embarking on a search of Bauhaus buildings in the city. Some of the most prominent examples are on the Rothschild Boulevard, and on Bialik and Dizengoff Street, but you are advised to first visit the Bauhaus Center to get the relevant information. They have books and maps on the subject and you can find out about the free tour organised by the City Hall on Saturdays called the Tel Aviv-Bauhaus Walking Tour.

To round off your visit, be sure to visit the Bauhaus Museum on Bialik Street which is useful for gaining insight on the impact which the Bauhaus of Tel Aviv has had on the rest of the world.

 

Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

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6 magic places in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps and offers a mix of opportunities to enjoy our stay there. Each neighborhood has its owns charms and each can have a unique and unforgettable experience:

1.- Old Jaffa

The old town, Old Jaffa , claims to be the neighborhood where the history of Tel Aviv begins. Its narrow streets and picturesque stone houses make you immerse in the old Ottoman Empire. This part of town is known for being one of the busiest and the main claim for tourists, attracted by the bohemian and art off its people and places. The flea market, Jaffa Flea Market , treasures all kinds of antique and curiosities that will not let us get away with empty hands. If we are hungry, Ali Karavan serves the best hummus in the world. Its main dish is hummus with beans and also the prices are very affordable. Another restaurant in the area to highlight is Dr Shakshuka , where you can taste the typical Israeli home cooking as much varied and tasty.

2.- Tel Aviv Port

This restless city is characterized by its port and beaches, washed by the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea . Tel Aviv offers spectacular views and it is a must walking around the harbor, which can be reached just leaving Old Jaffa. In Tel Aviv Port can be found especially local clubs or cocktail bars and a wide range of restaurants for all tastes. On the seafront is located Galina , an outdoor nightclub whose attendees are both tourists and locals. Theme nights for everyone are usually scheduled . Lovers of fish and shellfish can not say goodbye to Tel Aviv without delighting their palate in Manta Ray , number one shellfish in Israel . Another of their specialties is the cream of aubergine, a favorite for many of their guests . It is a perfect place for both a brunch with friends or to enjoy a romantic dinner by moonlight and the sound of the waves.

3.- Tel Aviv’s Downtown

Tel Aviv’s downtown hosts the most sophisticated shops in the city, from world famous brands to luxurious Israeli firms. The most emblematic of Tel Aviv are the great Dizengoff shopping center and the Bauhaus Center museum , in the heart of the city. We may also choose from a variety of restaurants that feature cuisine of extreme quality. Our favorites are the ice cream from Vaniglia and The Dinning Hall, a multicultural restaurant that fuses the culture of Israel through the cooking styles Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Arabic and Jebusites, always with Mediterranean and European connotations. The latter is located in the Performing Arts Center, on the boulevard of King Saul.

4.- Florentin

Florentin is a lively, bourgeois neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Where once was the working class’s refuge, in this last decade has been transformed and has been filled with artists, artisans and interesting people. Walking the Florentine streets is common to see graffiti on the walls or doors of houses, shops and establishments. Shuk Haaliyah spice market has become a must for all visitors to the city. We recommend to eat at Hahultziym 3, a restaurant that will make us dream with its parmesan-reggiano cheese, its kebabs, pitas roasted pork pitas and challah or bread stuffing Hebrew.

5.- Rothschild

Rothschild is the quintessential neighborhood for shopping and browse lots of little shops of local and vintage clothing. The Rothschild Boulevard and Shenkin Street have boutiques with a personality, best to go for the latest. Tuesdays and Fridays, Nahalat Binyamin Street becomes a showcase for the most innovative designers of clothing, jewelry, furniture and handicrafts. Most hedonists are in the right district, as the coolest nightclub in Tel Aviv, Radio EPGBE opens its doors in front of the boulevard. The purest underground atmosphere and live music make us enjoy the Israeli scene. You will listen to indie, rock, electronic and independent music in general. After a wild night, we can go to recover strength to Benedict, on the same boulevard, open 24 h and specialized in the most complete and tasty breakfasts that we can imagine.

5.- Neve Tzedek

The trendy district of Tel Aviv is precisely Neve Tzedek where tradition and modernity coexist. It is one of the most beautiful and was built in 1887 as the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of Jaffa. Get lost in its streets is essential in our journey to discover the white city’s history and evolution. We will be mesmerised by its amazing architecture that invite us to take pictures incessantly. Bohemian artists and modern people occupy the streets and proliferate their workshops and business in this area. The Monastery is a cocktail bar open 24 h, known for the variety of imported beers, situated at Allenby. Sausages are its specialty and there are all kinds. Good place to connect and converse with the locals and other tourists. Next to Neve Tzedek, the impressive market Hacarmel stands with stalls of exotic stuff and food to trade with their multicultural assistants.

Image:Boris Kuznetsov

By Blanca Frontera .

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Seven Ideas for Enjoying Tel Aviv with Children

Famous for its white silhouette and for being the city with the largest collection of buildings inspired by the Bauhaus (over 4,000), it is also renowned for its Mediterranean light, its multicultural, cosmopolitan milieu and its high standard of living. However, what is not so well known is that young Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, is a fantastic family resort where both the young and old can have a lot of fun. Why? The high birthrate – over three children per family – has prompted a large number of children’s facilities to be built in the city. Here are some ideas:

1. Kids might get bored with stone, the major feature of the old port of Jaffa, founded in 700 BC, which forms the original nucleus of present-day Tel Aviv. But you’re sure to win them over if you tell them it was here that Noah’s ark came to rest when the Flood subsided. This maze of well-preserved, winding streets has been exquisitely restored as part of a complete makeover. It throngs with craft shops, art galleries, cafes and artists’ studios, including the rehearsal premises of Mayumaná, a group known for its unusual way of making music using non-musical objects, such as rubbish skips, recycled objects, etc. If you start hearing weird sounds while out strolling there, they are obviously engaged in a full-blown rehearsal. Before leaving, make sure you take some amusing photos of Jaffa, like hugging the “hanging” olive tree or in front of the whale that swallowed Jonah. If you happen to be out walking at dusk, have a look at Tel Aviv’s skyline and the fishermen seeing out the day on the wharf.

2. Jaffa is the site of a pleasant Tel Aviv promenade, the Tayelet.The walk, which stretches for fourteen kilometres, starts at the old, millenary harbour and crosses Tel Aviv in a northbound direction. It can be done on foot, or by jogging, skating, skateboarding or cycling – municipal bicycles can be hired all over the city. All you need is a credit card, and that’s it! Don’t worry if you get tired of pedalling – we recommend a stop-off at one of the cafes opposite the beach, or having an ice-cream while seated on one of the benches along the promenade, where you can sun yourselves and soak in the atmosphere.

3. Tel Aviv is a coastal city with beaches where you can enjoy the warm Mediterranean climate. They are clean and lively and provide all the services – changerooms, showers, playgrounds and swings! All designed for soaking up the seaside, as here they can boast of over 300 days of sun a year. The family favourites are two in particular – Metzitzim, in the north, perhaps the beach of choice among locals, and the Jerusalem beach, which affords a perfect view of the Jaffa skyline. For interest’s sake, Hadatiyim is the beach where religious people go, while Hilton beach is preferred by surfers and homosexuals. To get into the swing of things, buy some typical wooden racquets called markot and get ready to spend hours playing on the beach.

4. A stroll down the Rothschild Boulevard is a must. Make sure to stop off at number 45, the domain of the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. This is the Mecca of chocolate in all its shapes, colours and textures and their prices are well worth paying. The menu is so tantalising and so mouth-watering that the whole family is sure to give in to the temptation at any time of day.

5. Talking of food… somewhat less traditional are the products to be had at the Carmel Market, the best place for imbibing exotic flavours and aromas and discovering fruit, vegetables, sweets, multi-coloured spices, fresh fish, meat hanging from gigantic hooks and prepared food unrecognizable for many westerners. Strange aromas, sounds from voices and electronic devices, music and hubbub mingle in the air. Of course, the question most often heard is – What is this? Startled expressions at the new flavours are guaranteed, as are the smiles on realising that you can also find sweets in Israel! Even though they are a bit strange. But, don’t leave Carmel without tasting a pomegranate and orange juice… Mmm!

6. The Ramat Gan Zoological Center is a locally popular nature reserve where you can see exotic animals like giraffes and lions in the semi-wild. The park tour, measuring one square kilometre, is done by car, as if on a short safari. Be warned, though – the size is deceptive. The circuit is so well designed that it seems bigger than you imagine. If you don’t have your own car, you can hire one.

7. Hayarkon Park is a replica of New York’s Central Park in all respects, including appearance and size – it stretches over four square kilometres. We recommend taking a bicycle ride along the riverbank and having a picnic and, for dessert, a game of cricket – a popular game in Israel. There is also a lake where you can hire a boat, several ponds with ducks and even a climbing wall where you can try out your skills as a rock climber.

A place worth visiting with the family! Check out our prices here.

Text and images by Nani Arenas

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Neve Tzedek the Bohemian Quarter of Tel Aviv

Neve Tzedek, which in Hebrew means “home of justice”, was the first Jewish quarter to be built beyond the walls of the ancient port of Jaffa, twin to the still inexistent city of Tel Aviv (which emerged in the 1880s). From the outset, it was a place of refuge of the some of the most illustrious figures of Israeli culture. Now, a century after it was founded, its bohemian atmosphere is still in full swing. Some of the houses in this quarter are veritable monuments, built in such styles as the Bauhaus or Art Deco, while its streets are studded with cultural centres, restaurants, shops, cafés and bars you simply must visit on your stay in Tel Aviv. Here are some of the standout venues:

Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre
A must-visit spot on any art tour of Neve Tzedek. Fronted by a large mural by David Tartakover, one of Israel’s leading artists, the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre has four spaces which host performances by some of the foremost national and international dance companies. It is also the headquarters of the highly acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company. If you aren’t much moved by dance, you will certainly by stunned by the mesmerising interior plaza, the surrounding gardens or the Suzanne Café, one of the best spots in the neighbourhood to while away the afternoon chatting over a steamy cup of coffee. Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, 5 Yechieli Street.

Dallal
It is important not only to replenish your energies, but to do so where eating is raised to the heights of pure pleasure. In Neve Tzedek, Dallal is such a place. Located in the heart of the quarter, the cuisine at this restaurant draws inspiration from both nearby Jaffa and its Arab roots, and the Mediterranean. Sheer bliss on the palate. Make a point of getting there early and have a cocktail in their enchanting outside square. Dallal, 10 Shabazi Street.

Chelouche Gallery
Dating from 1886, this was the first building to be erected in Neve Tzedek. Aharon Chelouche, a landowner, jeweller and moneychanger, was one of the leading figures in Jaffa’s Jewish community in the late 19th century. A co-founder of this neighbourhood, together with Shimon Rokach and others, the erstwhile home of Chelouche is now one of the city’s paramount art galleries. While the works on its walls are fascinating, no less so are the views of the quarter to be had from the roof terrace. Be sure to go up to the top. Chelouche House, 32 Shlush Street.

HaTachana
At the end of Shabazi Street, the main and most crowded thoroughfare in Neve Tzedek, stands HaTachana, the Hebrew name for Jaffa’s old railway station. Built in 1892, HaTachana eventually fell into disuse and was closed for years. In recent times it was restored and renovated to house a number of cafés, bars, restaurants, shops and markets, turning the former train station into one of the liveliest points both in the district and the whole city. HaTachana, 1 Kaufmann Street.

Jajo
This small wine bar, with a capacity of hardly 14 people, is sophisticated yet inviting and boasts an excellent wine list. Its standout items are imported from Spain and France, and it also features an exciting list of cocktails. It is the ideal spot for ending off a day’s sightseeing in Neve Tzedek. Jajo, 44 Shabazi Street.

Carmel Market
Carmel Market (in Hebrew, Shuk Ha'Carmel) is a must-visit landmark for anyone arriving in Tel Aviv. Located on the edge of the Neve Tzedek quarter, it is a blend of a regular market, street market and souq, and is divided into two sections. The first houses stalls selling clothing, footwear, electrical appliances, etc. often at laughable prices. The highlight of the second and far more attractive section is an area of florists’ stalls, but it also has food stalls (fruit and vegetables, meat, cheeses, breads…), and those selling spices, which provide a fascinating explosion of colour, textures and aromas. 1 HaCarmel Street.

Nachum Gutman Museum of Art
Nachum Gutman, an Israeli painter and sculptor of Russian origin, was a cardinal figure in endowing Israeli art with a style of its own. Indeed, he departed from the European influences of his masters, which he regarded as inadequate for portraying the uniqueness of his country and its landscapes. His works are on display in various public buildings in Tel Aviv and, of course, in the Nachum Gutman Museum of Art as well. Nachum Gutman Museum of Art, 21 Shimon Rokach Street.

Rokach House
The journalist Shimon Rokach was the founder of a neighbourhood which at the end of the 19th century was part of the old city of Jaffa. Built in 1887, the Rokach family home is now an interesting museum devoted to that period. It is also the home of Lea Majaro-Mintz, Shimon’s granddaughter and one of the most widely acclaimed painters and sculptors in Israel. Rokach House, 36 Shimon Rokach Street.

Be sure to discover Neve Tzedek – book your Vueling to Tel Aviv here.

Text by Oriol Rodríguez

Images by Israel Photo Gallery, Amos Gil, israeltourism, Julien Menichini

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